Democratic Congressional Primary Too Close to Call

Dave Calone and Anna Throne-Holst are vying for the Democratic nomination to run for New York's First Congressional District
Dave Calone and Anna Throne-Holst are vying for the Democratic nomination to run for New York’s First Congressional District seat

The final result was still too close to call more than two hours after polls closed at 9 p.m. in today’s Democratic Congressional Primary.

With 100 percent of the ballots cast at polling places counted just after 11 p.m, Anna Throne-Holst had taken home 5,446 votes, or 50.10 percent of the vote, while David Calone had taken home 5,417 votes, 49.83 percent of the vote, only a 29-point spread between the candidates.

Ms. Throne-Holst also received two votes on the Women’s Equality party line and eight Democratic voters wrote in votes for other candidates. A total of 10,871 Democratic ballots were cast.

We have not yet received word on the number of absentee ballots cast or the possibility of a recount of votes cast at the polls. The Suffolk County Board of Elections has reported that more than 1,600 absentee ballots were mailed out to prospective voters.

“We are waiting for all votes to be counted, but are proud to have a lead at the end of election night,” said Ms. Throne-Holst in a statement issued just before 11:30 p.m. “We are confident going forward that victory will be ours now… and in November.”

Mr. Calone, a venture capitalist who had formerly worked as a federal prosecutor, lives in Setauket and served as the chairman of the Suffolk County Planning Commission. He has yet to hold elected office, though he has been heavily involved in regional Democratic politics.

Ms. Throne-Holst, a long-time member of the Independence Party, ran on the Democratic ticket and served as Southampton Town Supervisor for eight years before stepping down at the end of 2015 to seek the seat in Congress.

The primary, which was initially quite civil, took a turn toward barbs in the closing weeks, with Mr. Calone pointing out Ms. Throne-Holst’s contributions to Conservative Party members, attempting to use them to tie his opponent to presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, in campaign mailings and advertisements.

Ms. Throne-Holst responded by shoring up her support with mailings reminding voters of her endorsements from former Congressman Tim Bishop and New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, and with mailings questioning why Mr. Calone quit his position on the Long Island Power Authority’s board just after Superstorm Sandy struck Long Island.

Both candidates spent much of the primary season pointing to the vast differences between their world views on national issues and the views of Republican incumbent Zeldin, ranging from climate change to gun control to health care and women’s health issues, issues that will likely return in the general election.

While much could still change in the Presidential race between now and Election Day, the East End’s primary election figures could be a harbinger of things to come for the coattails of the Presidential ticket — both Democratic presidential challenger Bernie Sanders and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump did better on the East End in the primary than they did statewide.

As of April 1, 2016, there were 325,059 registered Democrats and 311,442 registered Republicans in Suffolk County. The county figures include large portions of both the Second and Third congressional districts, as well as all of the First Congressional District.

The general election is Tuesday, November 8.



Beth Young

Beth Young has been covering the East End since the 1990s. In her spare time, she runs around the block, tinkers with bicycles, tries not to drown in the Peconic Bay and hopes to grow the perfect tomato. You can send her a message at editor@eastendbeacon.com

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