A Republican wave shook up local races across Long Island’s towns and cities Tuesday, and among several contests for town supervisor, the race in North Hempstead remained too close to call, leaving voters uncertain of who will lead their government.
Democrat Jennifer DeSena, who ran on the Republican and Conservative lines, was leading the race against Democrat Wayne Wink Jr. to succeed Supervisor Judi Bosworth, 73, who didn’t seek a fifth term.
"Thank you from a total newcomer pulling me right out of the community," DeSena said from the Coral House in Baldwin, where Republicans gathered on Tuesday night. "I’m really excited to serve you and [begin] working with this team."
In Nassau County, where registered Democrats heavily outnumber registered Republicans — 416,399 to 318,335, according to the New York State Board of Elections— GOP candidates appeared to win the top jobs in every town and city except Long Beach.
Glen Cove continued to seesaw between both parties, with Republicans appearing to mostly reverse the Democrats’ complete sweep two years ago. Pamela Panzenbeck, a former Republican councilwoman, defeated Mayor Timothy Tenke, a Democrat who was seeking his third term.
Election night results showed the Republicans leading in five out of six City Council seats, with only one Democrat, incumbent Marsha Silverman, holding on. Absentee ballots remain to be counted.
Panzenbeck attributed her victory to voter displeasure with Tenke’s tax hike in the 2021 budget.
Tenke said in an interview that his defeat was part of a nationwide response to Democratic governance in Washington.
"The Republicans came out in force and wanted to send out a message and they succeeded," he said Wednesday.
In Long Beach, Democratic candidates held off the wave of Republican voters as John Bendo, 58, and Roy Lester, 71, are poised to be the top two vote-getters.
Republican incumbent town supervisors in Hempstead and Oyster Bay won reelection.
In Suffolk County, Republicans held on to Huntington, Smithtown and Riverhead in supervisor races, while the Democratic incumbents in Babylon and East Hampton were reelected.
History made in Islip, ballot box issues in Babylon
Islip elected its first Hispanic member to the town board after a federal civil rights lawsuit led to the creation of two council districts. Democrat Jorge Guadron said one of his first orders of business will be to bring in district constituents from North Bay Shore, Brentwood and Central Islip to talk with them about their priorities.
"This win gives us the opportunity to integrate our community with every other community within the town," he said. "We are not going to be ignored and neglected anymore."
In Southampton Town, Republican challenger Cynthia M. McNamara was the top vote getter, winning the open seat previously held by term-limited Democrat John Bouvier. Democratic Councilman Thomas Schiavoni appeared to hold onto his seat. The pair were ahead of Republican candidate Ann Thomas and Democrat Robin L. Long.
No winner was declared in the close race for highway superintendent between Democrat Thomas F. Neely and Republican Charles G. McArdle.
Democrats in Southold held leads in key races, and at least two have been declared winners.
In the race for two open Southold Town Board seats, Democrats declared candidate Greg Doroski the winner of one of those seats in a field of four candidates.
In Shelter Island, races for town council and town clerk remained too close to call, said town GOP chairman Gary Blados.
Incumbent Republican Councilwoman Amber F. Brach-Williams was the top vote getter in a three-way race for two town board seats. Behind her were fellow Republican Margaret A. Larsen and Democrat Brett G. Surerus.
Republican Marcus A. Kaasik and Democrat Barbara Jean Ianfolla were neck-and-neck in the race for the two-year remainder of former Councilman Mike Bebon’s term following his resignation in June.
The tight town clerk race between incumbent Republican Dorothy S. Ogar and Democratic challenger Kristina Martin-Majdisova was also undecided as of Wednesday.
Three races in Babylon Town remain uncalled by the Board of Elections.
Republican BOE Commissioner Nick LaLota said that the scanner on a machine in Babylon Village was not working Tuesday. In accordance with BOE protocols, the polling place’s bipartisan team inserted the 203 completed ballots into the scanner’s locked emergency compartment. When polls closed, the ballots were placed in a sealed canvas bag and transported back to BOE headquarters, where they are being stored in a locked room until next week before being scanned.
In the council race, one of the two seats up for grabs was won by incumbent Anthony Manetta. Incumbent Antonio Martinez, running on the Democrat and Conservative lines, held a slight lead over Republican Kevin Sabella Sr. in the race for the other seat. In the clerk’s race, incumbent Geraldine Compitello, running on the Democrat and Conservative lines, was ahead of Republican Catherine Corella. In the District Court Judge race for the 2nd District, Republican Carl Copertino leads F. Scott Carrigan, who is on the Democrat and Conservative lines.
With Denise M. Bonilla, Vera Chinese, Deborah S. Morris, Jean-Paul Salamanca and Darwin Yanes