Zeldin Upsets Bishop; Suffolk Drinking Water Proposal Passes

Lee Zeldin will be the new congressman from the First Congressional District         Zeldin campaign photo
Lee Zeldin will be the new congressman from the First Congressional District                                     Zeldin campaign photo

New York State Senator Lee Zeldin swamped six-term Congressman Tim Bishop in the polls Tuesday night, taking home 54.7 percent of the vote to Mr. Bishop’s 45.2.

Mr. Zeldin, an attorney from Shirley who ran against Mr. Bishop in 2008, is in his second term as a New York State Senator and served as an Army Paratrooper during the war in Iraq.

Mr. Bishop, the former provost of Southampton College, will complete his sixth and final term in Congress this fall.

Mr. Zeldin maintained the lead most of the evening, and Mr. Bishop called him at his Patchogue headquarters to concede around 10:30 p.m.

In his victory speech, Mr. Zeldin said that Washington can’t be changed without a change in the people who represent us.

Proposal Five on the Suffolk County ballot, which has been heavily supported by environmentalists, passed Tuesday night. The proposal will restore $30 million taken from the quarter-percent tax earmarked for Suffolk County’s Drinking Water Protection Program and authorize the county to fund $46 million in sewer infrastructure improvements. It passed with 65.7 percent of the vote.

Veteran Republican State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle was easily returned to work in Albany with 70.4 percent of the vote. His Democratic opponent, Michael L. Conroy, a former construction worker and labor representative and county Democratic Party official from Manorville, took home 29.5 percent.

Nineteen-year incumbent South Fork State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr. took home 60.3 percent of the vote Tuesday, while Republican challenger Heather C. Collins of East Quogue took home 32.5 percent and Conservative candidate Brian J. De Sesa, an attorney from Sag Harbor, took home 7.1 percent.

North Fork Assemblyman Anthony Palumbo, a Republican, was easily returned to Albany with 63.3 percent of the vote, while his Democratic opponent, Thomas Shiliro, took home 36.7 percent.

Southolders returned longtime Republican Trustee David Bergen to his seat on the board with 57 percent of the vote Tuesday night, in a special election to fill the seat of former Trustee Bob Ghosio, who was elected to the town board last fall.

The Southold Town Board appointed Mr. Bergen to fill Mr. Ghosio’s post earlier this year, after Mr. Begen, then an incumbent, did not receive the Republican nomination for the position last fall. He ran for re-election against Abigail Field, an attorney and member of the Southold Town Democratic Committee who took home 43 percent of the vote.

In county races, 12th District Suffolk County Legislator John M. Kennedy, Jr., a Republican, took a surprise victory in the County Comptroller race with 53.2 percent of the vote against Suffolk County Water Authority chairman Jim Gaughran. Judith A. Pascale, who was running unopposed for County Clerk, took home 99.9 percent of the vote.

Throughout the East End, voters passed five ballot propositions. Proposal One, which will revise the state’s redistricting procedures, was approved by 57.3 percent of voters. Proposal Two, which allows state bills to be distributed electronically, was approved by 74.6 percent of voters.

Proposal Three, which allows the sale of $2 billion in state bonds to upgrade public school technology, was approved by 57.8 percent of voters. Proposal Four, which eliminates the role of the Suffolk County County Treasurer, with those duties absorbed by the County Comptroller’s office, was approved by 61.5 percent of voters.

Voters in Southampton also agreed to a proposal to “alienate” town parkland in order to revamp the Riverside traffic circle just south of downtown Riverhead. Suffolk County is offering to give Southampton a larger adjacent piece of parkland along the Peconic River in exchange for use of the town’s parkland to change the shape of the traffic circle. The proposal was supported by 73.9 percent of Southampton voters.

In state-wide races, Suffolk County showed its Republican roots. Republican Gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino took 48.7 percent of the Suffolk vote, while incumbent Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo took just 47.5 percent. Statewide, Mr. Cuomo was re-elected with 54 percent of the vote.

Republican State Attorney General candidate John Cahill took home 50.6 percent of the Suffolk vote to Democratic incumbent Eric Schneiderman’s 47.1 percent. Statewide, Mr. Schneiderman was re-elected with 56 percent of the vote.

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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