No official results have been posted as of Wednesday morning, but the unofficial local polls indicate a fairly red election year.
“There’s about about 140,00 to 150,000 absentee ballots cast that have to be opened by Democrats and Republican representatives at the Board of Elections,” said Suffolk County Democratic chairman Rich Schaffer. “Once the 140,000-150,000 cast are opened and tallied, I believe some of these results will be different. I told all our candidates [to] give the Board of Elections time to do what they do best, count all the votes in a bipartisan fashion.”
As of now, the leader of each race relevant to The Advance’s readership is the Republican candidate, except for incumbent Fred Thiele (D,I-Bridgehampton), who is leading Republican challenger Heather Collins (R,C) for Assembly District 1.
“They are trailing, but we always knew Republicans vote on Election Day and Democrats vote via absentee ballots,” Schaffer said. “Absentees must be postmarked by Nov. 3, and received by the Board of Elections by Nov. 10. I believe they’ll start counting next week Monday or Tuesday.”
Jesse Garcia, Suffolk County Republican chairman, provided a statement, as well.
“Last night was a big night for the county and town Republican committees and parties,” Garcia said. “As to Schaffer’s valid point about the absentee ballots, our strategy and plan all along was to capture the energy of the Trump truck rallies and close this game in the fourth quarter. We had a plan to drive out our voters to achieve victory on election night and exceed numbers of votes on absentee ballots.”
Incumbent for U.S. Congress District 1 Lee Zeldin (R,C,I-Shirley) is leading Democratic challenger Nancy Goroff (D,WF) with 61.31 percent of the vote, according to unofficial election results provided by the Suffolk County Board of Elections. Zeldin arrived at the Mastic Beach Fire Department a little after 10:30 a.m.with his family. He joined the end of the line on Doris Drive that snaked around the parking lot to the voting entrance at Neighborhood Road, about 150 people. “This is as special as it gets,” he said, looking at the number of residents. “It’s an amazing turnout. It’s the American spirit at its finest and definitely throughout our country.” Zeldin was at his campaign headquarters on Montauk Highway in Center Moriches that night.
With 111,188 total votes, Goroff has 38.66 percent of the vote, as of Wednesday morning.
Like Schaffer, Goroff’s campaign manager referenced the uncounted absentee ballots.
“With tens of thousands of ballots left to be opened, we owe it to voters that every single one be counted,” said Jacob Sarkozi, Goroff’s campaign manager.
Assemblyman Andrew Garbarino (R,C,L-Sayville) declared a victory at midnight after getting numbers in from Nassau County.
“We won Levittown two to one, then 80 percent in Massapequa,” he said. “Once we were up by 42,000 votes, we knew we were going to win."
Garbarino’s lead in U.S. Congress District 2 against Democratic challenger Jackie Gordon (D,WF,I) in Suffolk County was 98,277 votes as of Wednesday morning to Gordon’s 83,256. Garbarino is currently carrying 53.56 percent of the vote over Gordon’s 45.37 percent. In Nassau County, he led 57,808 in votes to Gordon’s 26,979. Garbarino voted at Bayport High School at the end of his campaigning day in Nassau County in six voting areas that started at 7:30 a.m. to noon.
Then he concentrated on Sayville.
“Every election night I have dinner at The Sayville Inn. It’s closed but they’re opening it up for me.”
Republican challenger for state Senate District 3, Alexis Weik (R,C), is leading over Democratic incumbent Monica Martinez (D,I-Brentwood). Weik is sporting 56.66 percent of the vote, compared to Martinez’s 43.32 percent, as of Wednesday morning. Weik said that on Election Day, she visited call centers and helped make phone calls after voting in the morning in Sayville.
Also for state Senate, but for District 1, Republican incumbent Anthony Palumbo (R,C-New Suffolk) is leading Democratic challenger Laura Ahearn (D), 57.2 percent to 42.78, as of Wednesday morning.
In addition to the Thiele-Collins election, two other state Assembly seats look to be remaining in Republican hands.
Republican incumbent Joe DeStefano (R,C,I-Medford) has a considerable lead on Democratic challenger Steve Polgar (D). DeStefano’s 62.67 percent of the vote is significant compared to Polgar’s 36.57 percent, as of Wednesday morning. DeStefano and his wife, Linda, got in line to vote at Eagle Elementary School in Medford at 6:15 a.m. on the morning of Election Day with freezing temperatures and 30-mile-an-hour winds. They waited two hours to cast their ballots. Describing this as “the most important election of our lifetime,” DeStefano diligently waited the two hours to exercise his “Consitutional right to vote.” “[The right to vote] is something we should all take sacred as it’s our voice in government and shows that we care about who is in office and represents us.”
As Garbarino’s seat in the Assembly is up for grabs, Republican candidate Jarett Gandolfo (R,C,I) is leading Francis Genco (D), 65.56 percent to 34.42 percent in the polls, as of Wednesday morning. Gandolfo voted at the Sayville Academic Center on Greene Avenue at 7 a.m. with his wife, Natalia Gandolfo. “It took over an hour, but we had good company,” he said. After that, it was on to Toast in Patchogue to chow down on a good breakfast. He was campaigning in Sayville in the afternoon and after that, it was on to East Islip.
Sam Desmond contributed to this story