Schneiderman, Bouvier Easily Reelected; Republicans Lose Control of Town Trustees

Southampton Town Councilman John Bouvier, left, and Supervisor Jay Schneiderman celebrate their reelection victories Tuesday night at the Silver Lining Diner in Southampton, where town Democratic Committee members convened to await election results. Peter Boody photo

Tuesday was a night for incumbents in Southampton Town, as Jay Schneiderman easily won a third term as supervisor, while his Democratic running mate, John Bouvier, cruised to a second term on the Town Board, assuring that the party will retain its 4-1 margin on the board for the next two years.

The four incumbent Town Trustees on the ballot also won reelection — though one seat could be up for grabs when absentee ballots are tallied — and a former longtime Trustee won a vacant fifth seat.

Mr. Schneiderman, a resident of Southampton, had 55.25 percent of the vote, a total of 7,087 votes — most on the Democratic line, plus 660 on the Conservative and 258 on the Working Families lines, according to unofficial results from the Suffolk County Board of Elections on Tuesday night.

Mr. Bouvier, of Westhampton, was the top vote-getter among five candidates for two Town Council seats with 6,388 votes.

Mr. Schneiderman’s Republican challenger, Gregory G. Robins of North Sea, a veteran firefighter and fire district commissioner, trailed with 3,788 votes, or 29.53 percent, while Independence Party candidate Alex D. Gregor of East Quogue, the town’s highway superintendent, managed 1,942 votes on the Independence and Libertarian lines, or 15.14 percent.

“There’s not much I can say,” Mr. Robins commented Wednesday morning. “It was an off-year election. He had three lines, and I had one. It was a three-way race. I thought I’d do better.”

Republican and Conservative challenger Richard W. Martel of Hampton Bays closely trailed Mr. Bouvier in the voting for Town Board, but bested three other candidates, winning the second council seat at stake in the election with 6,134 votes. His Republican and Conservative running mate, Charles McArdle of Hampton Bays, was third in the race for two seats, with 5,673 votes.

Mr. Bouvier’s Democratic running mate, first-time candidate Craig A. Catalanotto of Speonk, came in a close fourth with 5,416 votes, all of them cast on his single Democratic line.

“I wish you’d gotten in there,” Supervisor Schneiderman told Mr. Catalanotto on Tuesday night as he made his victory speech at the Silver Lining Diner in Southampton. “You’re not going to be a stranger. We’ll keep you involved.”

Democrat Bridget Fleming, running for a third two-year term on the Suffolk County Legislature from the 2nd District, cruised to victory over Republican challenger Linda Kabot, a former Southampton Town supervisor trying to make a political comeback. Legislator Fleming garnered 12,151 votes to Mr. Kabot’s 8,218.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, a Democrat, handily won reelection over his Republican challenger, John Kennedy Jr., 148,043-115,867.

Candidates who won most of their votes on the Democratic line will take control of the Southampton Town Trustees in 2020.

Incumbent Bill Pell, a member of the Independence Party and the top vote-getter in the 10-person race for five seats, breezed to reelection with 7,443 votes, followed in the voting by his running mate, Ann Welker, also an incumbent Independence Party member, with 6,771 votes. The vast majority of their votes came in on their Democratic lines.

Supervisor Schneiderman singled Ms. Welker out in his victory speech as “not only the first woman Town Trustee but the first reelected woman Trustee.”

Eric L. Shultz, a former Trustee who chose not to seek reelection in 2017, won back a place on the board on the Democratic line with 6,016 votes.

The board’s veteran chairman, Republican Edward J. Warner Jr., won reelection in fourth place, with 5,820 votes.

Republican incumbent Scott M. Horowitz came in fifth with 5,583 votes, edging out Republican Donald T. Law, who had 5,533, and Democratic candidate Andrew J. Brosnan, with 5,423, all cast on his single Democratic line.

Those three candidates finished within 1 percentage point of each other, with hundreds of absentee ballots still to be counted, so Democrats said they were hopeful that Mr. Brosnan could still eke out a win and oust Mr. Horowitz.

“It’s my honor to serve,” Mr. Schneiderman told the Democrats at the Silver Lining Diner late Tuesday night. “I love what I do and I look forward to coming in every day, and I feel like there’s a lot of things, a lot more things we can do.

“We talked about it on the campaign trail,” he added, “about creating affordable housing opportunities for our workforce, cleaning up our waterways, trying to deal with the costs of living and taxes, and all those things … We’re going to work together to make Southampton an even greater place.”

Mr. Bouvier told the crowd of buoyant party members, “We have a huge agenda ahead of us, and I hope you will all work with us. We’re going to make some changes. We’re going to do some other things. We’re going to put some people on boards — we’re going to do a lot of stuff to make things happen. So, stay tuned. I think it’s a really great thing that’s coming.”

Speaking to Republicans and Conservatives who had gathered at Salvatore’s, the former Hamptons Standard restaurant, in Hampton Bays, a victorious Mr. Martel commented, “I want to thank everybody who helped us out in the campaign. It was my first run, so I had to have a lot of guidance. Thank you to all my followers and my people who came out, and it was great to be recognized for the work that I’ve done for the community in the past, and I really appreciate it.

“I’ll be able to work with John and the Town Board and make some wonderful things happen for the Town of Southampton.”

In other local races, Theresa Kiernan easily won reelection as town tax receiver with 7,267 votes, compared to Democratic challenger and local party leader Gordon Herr’s 5,162. Gary J. Weber, who ran unopposed for reelection as a town justice, garnered 9,371 votes running on the Republican, Conservative, Working Families, Green and Independence lines.

In a county race with a local angle, attorney Andrea H. Schiavoni of North Haven, a Southampton Town justice since 2008 and the wife of Southampton Town Councilman Tommy John Schiavoni, won election as a Family Court judge with 138,460 votes on four party lines, as did her running mate Victoria Gumbs Moore of Wheatly Heights, who tallied 136,809 votes on the same four lines: Democratic, Conservative, Working Families and Independence.

Asked for comment Tuesday night on her unsuccessful race for Ms. Fleming’s county legislative seat, Ms. Kabot said, “It’s been a long campaign — eight and a half months. I’m glad to have put my name back out there. I’m glad to have participated in the process, and we move on.”

She added, “My numbers might not have been strong in East Hampton, and clearly that gives the incumbent the competitive edge, because East Hampton is more heavily enrolled Democratic and they might vote party line. But I’m happy that people from all walks of life across the political spectrum were supporting my candidacy, and they were voting for the person, not the party.”

Robin Long, the campaign manager for Southampton’s Democratic candidates, drew cheers for her unsuccessful candidates Mr. Catalanotto and Mr. Brosnan when she pointed out the thousands of votes they had collected with just one line on the ballot, the Democratic line.

“Right now I’m sad that I’ve left a couple of candidates behind — but I just want you to look at those numbers and take a little bit of pride, because there was a time, when Bridget Fleming and I were doing Bridget’s first campaign” — for county legislator in 2015 — “we were told, ‘Don’t say you’re a Democrat.’ Now we can say it out loud.”

“We’ve come so far,” said Democratic party leader Mr. Herr Tuesday night. In the first campaign he ran, in 2007, “we ran a full slate, but we had one win out of the whole slate. We’ve had incredible results since then. Not only are we now the major party of the town, but we have more registered Democrats in the town, which we never had before …
“Everyone should be proud of what this Town Board has done and what we’re going to achieve and what we continue to do.”