Democrats Roll To Victory in Southampton

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Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman congratulates Julie Lofstad after the final election returns came in at the Democratic Party's post-election gathering at Buckley's Inn Between on Tuesday night. Michael Heller photo.
Democrats erupt in cheers as the final results come in as Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman emcee’d the proceedings as the election returns came in on a projected computer screen at the Democratic Party’s post-election gathering at Buckley’s Inn Between on Tuesday night. Michael Heller photo.

By Stephen J. Kotz

Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman congratulates Julie Lofstad after the final election returns came in at the Democratic Party’s post-election gathering at Buckley’s Inn Between on Tuesday night. Michael Heller photo.

Jubilant Democrats gathered at Buckley’s Inn Between in Hampton Bays Tuesday night to cheer a sweeping victory by their party in Southampton Town elections.

Jubilant Democrats gathered at Buckley’s Inn Between in Hampton Bays Tuesday night to cheer a sweeping victory by their party in Southampton Town elections.

Supervisor Jay Schneiderman and Councilwoman Julie Lofstad easily won reelection and were joined in the winner’s circle by Tommy John Schiavoni of North Haven, who won the second open seat on the town board, giving the Democrats a 4-1 majority.

“This is a good night to be a Democrat,” said Mr. Schneiderman, who recently announced he would switch his own affiliation from the Independence to the Democratic Party later this month. With a microphone in hand, Mr. Schneiderman announced results as if he was calling a slow moving horse race.

“I feel really good,” said Ms. Lofstad, who came up short in her first run for town board in 2015. She won a special election early in 2016 to complete the term of Councilman Brad Bender, who resigned after pleading guilty to federal drug charges. With her first four-year term in front of her, Ms. Lofstad said, “I still consider myself a newbie in politics. I want to be a public servant.”

Mr. Schiavoni, who was accompanied by his daughter, Anna Francesca, and son, Thomas, watched nervously as the results came in, even though they consistently showed him with a 600-to-700 vote lead for second place in the four-way race for two board seats.

“I’m honored to be chosen as a councilman — to get over 6,000 votes is unbelievable,” he said.

“I’m speechless,” said Robin Long, the Democrats’ campaign manager. “When was the last time the Democrats had four of five seats on the Southampton Town Board?”

Mr. Glinka, a Republican who was seeking his second term, said he believed the results were colored by strong Democratic turnout, not only locally, but across the northeast. “I attribute it to what’s going on nationally,” he said.

“It’s been an honor to serve,” he added. “I wish them well in their future endeavors and know they will do a fine job for the town.”

As their Democratic colleagues celebrate, newly-elected Southampton Town Council member Tommy John Schiavoni thanks everyone. Michael Heller photo.

 

In other key races, Highway Superintendent Alex Gregor, an Independence Party member who was cross-endorsed by the Democrats, held off his Republican challenger, Lance Aldrich, a former deputy highway superintendent.

Democrats cheered the election of Ann Welker to town Trustee, which is believed to be the first time a woman has been elected to that board in the town’s history.

Incumbents Bill Pell and Bruce Stafford led all candidates. Two other incumbents, Ed Warner Jr. and Scott Horowitz, held their seats.

Town Clerk Sundy Schermeyer and Town Justices Deborah Kooperstein and Barbara Wilson ran unopposed.

There were early signs the Democrats would do well. Shortly after the polls closed, results from the Suffolk County Board of Elections that were projected on a large screen showed Ms. Lofstad with a commanding early lead and Mr. Schiavoni showing a surprising lead over Mr. Glinka and his Republican running mate Thea Dombrowski-Fry.

Mr. Schneiderman received 8,172 votes, or 62 percent, to turn back Republican Ray Overton, who received 4,872 votes, or 37 percent. In the council race, Ms. Lofstad received 7,843 votes, or 31 percent, while Mr. Schiavoni received 6,848 votes, or 27 percent. Mr. Glinka came in third with 6,017 votes, while Ms. Dombrowski-Fry received 4,528 or about 18 percent.

Mr. Herr said there were 890 absentee ballots outstanding, making it difficult for Mr. Glinka to overtake Mr. Schiavoni.

State Ballot Measures

A measure to consider a statewide constitutional convention was broadly rejected, but another, to allow courts to revoke pensions of public officials found guilty of felonies, passed easily. A third measure would set up a land bank and allow municipalities to contribute to it if they needed to use other forest preserve land for public health and safety concerns. That measure appeared to pass by a small margin.

 

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