Dems lose the legislature

Republicans sweep the county


The decadent and swanky Stereo Garden in Patchogue was an apropos setting for the overwhelming Republican victory party on election night.

Decked out in red, white, and blue balloons, lights, and 3D stars, the Stereo Garden displayed campaign signs throughout its entryway and stage for candidates.

Suffolk County Republicans came out in full force, taking control of the Suffolk County Legislature, unseating the Democratic majority leader Rob Calarco and taking control of the 18-seat body, and sweeping the county for several key seats. 

Special election incumbent Republican James Mazzarella took the win for Suffolk County’s 3rd District against former Legis. Kate Browning with 66 percent of the vote and 7,525 votes to her 32 percent of the vote, and 3,708 votes.

“This campaign was no different than my campaign in the spring; it is about people and the people have spoken in a very big way!” he said after his victory. “I am humbled by the groundswell of support; now it’s time to get to work and serve.”

The Suffolk County Democrats gathered to watch results and celebrate victories at IBEW Local 25 in Hauppauge; however, victories were few and far between as Republicans swept the county for several key seats. 

Democrat Kate Browning, who didn’t win her race against Republican James Mazzarella for Suffolk County’s 3rd District, said voter turnout is important in off-year elections.

“The bottom line is it’s about turnout and whether Dems turn out to vote. I think sometimes some voters become complacent and think everything is going to be ok. People don’t realize how important every single vote is,” she said, conceding to her opponent.

Dems also lost control of the Suffolk County Legislature, unseating the Democratic majority leader Rob Calarco and taking control of the 18-seat body.

Suffolk County Democratic Committee chairman Rich Schaefer took to the stage to first announce Suffolk County presiding officer Rob Calarco’s upset against Dominick Thorne. Calarco was defeated with 45 percent of the vote, 5,627 votes, to Thorne, who took 54 percent with 6,611 votes, for District 7. This would have been Calarco’s final term as legislator after serving a total of 10 years in the seat.

“I want to recognize a young man who is not done, even though he may be done as a result of the results that have come in in his district in Brookhaven. But you have not heard the last of him,” said Schaefer. “Everyone will tell you, even the Republicans will tell you, he did a damn good job as a presiding officer.” 

Calarco spoke about the upset and took time to reminisce on some of his accomplishments from his time in office. 

“Sometimes you don’t know how the results are going to play out, and sometimes you get caught up in a national movement, as happened tonight. But I have a lot to be proud of standing here with my colleagues, looking at what we’ve accomplished for Suffolk County,” he said in his concession speech. 

Brookhaven Town clerk Donna Lent (R) also took home a win.

“I know all my colleagues join me in saying what a great town clerk we have,” said Brookhaven Town supervisor Ed Romaine on her win. “Voters agreed, 2 to 1, to reelect Donna Lent.”

“Thank you to all the soldiers who were out knocking on doors, shaking our streets; you have all have done a tremendous job,” Donna Lent said, taking the stage.

Contender and Republican district attorney candidate Ray Tierney took the win against incumbent and Democrat Tim Sini for the seat with 57 percent, 153,808 votes to Sini’s 42 percent, 114,514 votes.

“This man began his career in high school as a running back. When he went to Brown University, again he played football and he took this campaign every day as if he was driving out yardage every day,” said chairman of the Suffolk County Republican Committee Jesse Garcia of Tierney’s win.

“I am proud and humbled to stand before you here today and because of the people in this room and the people in Suffolk County, despite running against an incumbent, despite not having a lot of money in the beginning, despite not having the support of a lot of institutions, not for one day did I feel like an underdog because of you guys,” Tierney said in his victory speech. “I will fight every day to keep the citizens of Suffolk County safe. I will be fair and I will reach out into the community to develop relationships so we can all have faith in our District Attorney’s Office.”

Democrat Errol Toulon Jr. had won his race with just over 54 percent of the vote, 141,931 votes, against William Amato for Suffolk County sheriff, who garnered 45 percent of the vote with 119,357 votes.


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