Democratic and Republican primary challengers mostly lost their bids Tuesday on Long Island, with the exception of at least one legislative candidate who appears to have stripped a longtime Suffolk County legislator of his major party line.
Unofficial early returns show former two-term Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi, the Democratic nominee, was leading with 59 percent of the vote versus 41 percent for challenger Adam Haber, a Roslyn school board member, according to the Nassau County board of elections, as of midnight Wednesday with 91 percent of election precincts tallied.
“We’ve never had this kind of team effort before and it’s because of this team effort that were going to win in November,” Suozzi told supporters at his Glen Cove campaign headquarters as he looks forward to rematch against County Executive Ed Mangano, a Republican who unseated Suozzi in 2009.
Across the county line, Suffolk County District Attorney Tom Spota, a two-term Democrat cross-endorsed by Republicans, beat GOP challenger Ray Perini, a former chief narcotics prosecutor in Spota’s office, 56 to 44 percent, according to unofficial Suffolk elections board results. It was Spota’s first election challenge in 12 years.
In one key upset, Monica Martinez, a political newcomer who had the backing of Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, won the Democratic line away from Suffolk County Legis. Rick Montano (D-Central Islip), a maverick lawmaker who doesn’t caucus with his party and also hasn’t seen a serious challenge since he was elected a decade ago.
Suffolk County Sheriff Vincent DeMarco, a Conservative who was cross-endorsed by Republicans, trounced GOP challenger Samuel Barreto Jr. 68 to 32 percent for the Republican line.
The primaries kick off eight weeks of political campaigns in the run up to Election Day on Nov. 5.