Democrats keep county, lose town races
Suffolk County executive Steve Bellone celebrated with fellow Democrats Tuesday after winning his third term in office.

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Democrats keep county, lose town races

Story By: GLENN ROHRBACKER
11/6/2019


Democrats had a bittersweet night on Tuesday, as they kept control of the Suffolk County Legislature and executive branch, but lost races in Brookhaven and Islip towns.

Steve Bellone was re-elected to a third term as Suffolk County executive, defeating challenger John Kennedy, who earned 55.42 percent and 43.38 percent of the vote, respectively. Bellone said in his victory speech at IBEW Local 25 in Hauppauge Tuesday that he looks forward to working together across the aisle and improving on the progress Suffolk has made. 

In the county Legislature, deputy presiding officer Rob Calarco defeated challenger Dominick Thorne in District 7, earning 58.86 percent of the vote. 

“Thank you to everyone for the incredible support,” Calarco wrote on Facebook after the results were announced. “Tonight we celebrate and tomorrow we go back to work serving the residents of the 7th [District]!”

Prior to the results, Calarco went through his annual Election Day routine. One of his first stops was grabbing a coffee at the Patchogue 7-Eleven, then headed to his favorite breakfast joint in town, Peter’s Luncheonette, with his wife, Laura, and three kids, an Election Day tradition, said Laura Calarco. At about 8:30 a.m., he voted at Patchogue Knights of Columbus, bringing along his good-luck charm and friend Matt, who has been with him every Election Day, and his family. Then he knocked on doors for the remainder of the day.

In Brookhaven Town, Democrats lost key races in hard-fought campaigns for supervisor and superintendent of highways. Challenging supervisor Ed Romaine was Will Ferraro, who earned 37.42 percent of the vote. Challenging superintendent Dan Losquadro was Anthony Portesy, who earned 41.51 percent of the vote. The newly elected incumbents will now have four-year terms for the first time in over 15 years, due to last year’s referendum, which approved the change. 

“Losing sucks,” Ferraro said in a video posted to his Facebook channel. “It’s never a good feeling to lose a race, especially when you put everything into it.”

In Districts 4, 5, and 6 in Brookhaven, Democrats lost to Republican incumbents. The closest race was in District 4, where challenger Cheryl Felice earned 46.61 percent of the vote to incumbent Michael Loguercio’s 53.33 percent. 

“I’m at a loss for words right now because our 10-month campaign concluded tonight with us coming up a little short,” Felice said in a statement online. “There are so many people who worked so hard for this win, but it just wasn’t meant to be.”

In the 5th District, challenger Andrea Stolz lost to incumbent Neil Foley, earning 38.84 percent of the vote. And in District 6, challenger James Gentile earned only 27 percent of the vote against incumbent Dan Panico. Valerie Cartwright remains the only elected Democrat in Brookhaven Town, after being re-elected in the 1st District, which covers northwest Brookhaven.

“It’s really difficult putting your name out there; they deserve a big round of applause,” said Suffolk Democratic chairman Rich Schaffer Tuesday. 

Democrat Ed Hennessey won a seat on the bench of the 1st District court. Democrats also won six seats on the 10th District Supreme Court, though those candidates were endorsed by the Republican and Conservative lines as well. Andrea Schiavoni and Victoria Gumbs Moore won seats as family court judges.

The full unofficial results of Tuesday’s election can be found on the Suffolk County Board of Elections website.