Mulcahy, Corish and Plumb Win Big in Sag Harbor Village Election

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Mayor-elect Kathleen Mulcahy, center, with son Colman and daughter Kerrie (right) as results are posted in the firehouse Tuesday night. Michael Heller photo

Challenger Kathleen Mulcahy, a real estate agent and former corporate executive who raised two children in Sag Harbor, crushed two-term Mayor Sandra Schroeder in her bid for reelection on Tuesday, outpolling the former village clerk with 71 percent of the mayoral vote.

The tally was 489 for Mulcahy to 197 for Schroeder, in what a politically energized electorate appears to have made one of the highest-turnout village votes in 18 years.

In the race for two trustee seats, Ms. Mulcahy’s two allies also won big, with incumbent Aidan Corish taking 481votes and Robert Plumb, a four-year member of the Zoning Board of Appeals, 447.

“We worked really, really hard,” Ms. Mulcahy said at the firehouse just after the vote was posted at 10:27 p.m. by inspectors after they had spent nearly 90 minutes counting and recounting the 625 total votes and 67 absentee ballots cast.

“I had a team of volunteers that were beyond amazing,” she added. “Everybody worked, but also the village wanted change, a hundred percent; the village wanted change and I heard it every time I walked down the street.”

Mayor Schroeder did not return a call for comment Wednesday.

Part of the crowd waiting for election results at the firehouse Tuesday night after voting ended. Peter Boody photo

After the votes were posted Tuesday night, the mayor shook Ms. Mulcahy’s hand and quietly left the crowd of about 70 family, friends and supporters of all the candidates who had been waiting for results.

Trustee candidate Jennifer Ponzini, a former zoning board member whose husband is a fireman, trailed in the four-way race with 247 votes. Silas Marder, a landscape and furniture designer who did not attend the only candidate forum of the campaign, collected 78 votes.

Lisa Rana, who ran unopposed for reelection as village justice, garnered 471 votes, and a ballot proposition toincrease the Length of Service Award Program benefit for members of the Sag Harbor Volunteer Ambulance Corps breezed to approval with 597 “yes” to 54 “no” votes.

In the last contested mayoral race in 2017, 630 ballots were cast and unofficial contemporary press reports show 338 for Mayor Schroeder and 281 for Robbie Stein, about 10 percent less than the total cast on Tuesday. Mayor Schroeder was first elected in 2015 when 621 votes were cast down the ballot.

In 2013, when there was a four-way race for mayor, 593 votes were cast, with incumbent Brian Gilbride the winner with 179 votes to Ms. Schroeder’s 168.

The highest turnout in recent history came in 2001, when 916 people voted, electing Lauren Fortmiller mayor with 542 votes.

A privately owned fire truck borrowed by Trustee candidate Jennifer Ponzini’s husband outside the firehouse on Election Day. Peter Boody photo

Ms. Ponzini’s husband and another supporter from the fire department raised a stir on Election Day by borrowing former Mayor Brian Gilbride’s decommissioned East Hampton Fire Department pumper, which he described as one of his “toys” in an interview on Wednesday, adorning it with Ponzini signs, and parking it across the street from the firehouse.

Signs outside the building, near the property’s curb, marked the 100-foot radius from the polling place doorway within which electioneering was prohibited during the vote. But dozens of people called or emailed the Express on Tuesday to complain about the truck, thinking it was a fire department vehicle or within the 100-foot buffer. It was, in fact, privately owned and — if the markers were accurate — across Brick Kiln Road from the no-electioneering boundary.

Mr. Gilbride said he knew the two firemen would put Ponzini signs on his truck but didn’t know their plans otherwise.

Commenting on his victory, Trustee Aidan Corish said at the firehouse, “We’re delighted. It’s a great election” and it “looks like changes will be coming to Sag Harbor.” He added he was “looking forward to working with this great new board. We’ve got a lot to do and it’s back to work.”

“I think there was a definite movement for change out there,” he said. “You never know how these things are going to go. I think we’re all surprised at the swing.”

Mr. Plumb commented, “I think the truth prevailed.” During the campaign, “I heard it from everybody. There was a lot of dissatisfaction with how things were going.”

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