Oyster Bay Town Supervisor Race Too Close to Call

John Venditto
Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto speaks to fellow Republicans at Mirelle’s Restaurant in Westbury in the early morning hours of Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015 (Long Island Press photo).

Nine-term Republican Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto may be unseated by Democratic challenger John Mangelli, according to early unofficial results of Tuesday’s elections tallied by the Nassau County Board of Elections.

Mangelli led Venditto by 68 votes when the early returns were tabulated early Wednesday morning—making the race too close to call until absentee and other paper ballots are counted. The race was the only possible upset in 10 races for town supervisor seats across the 13 towns on Long Island.

“I didn’t prepare a speech” because he assumed “there was no way I was winning,” Mangelli told Democratic supporters at the Garden City Hotel. “This is a dream come true.”

Venditto later declined to concede the race during a post-midnight rally at Mirelle’s Restaurant in Westbury, where the Nassau County Republican Committee held their election night party.

“I like the action and we’ll see what happens… We have to let the process work it out,” Venditto said. “It is way too close to call.”

The potential upset comes two months after federal authorities charged a Syosset-based restaurateur with allegedly bribing a Town of Oyster Bay official, although Venditto has not been charged with wrongdoing in the case.

In a dramatic race on the East End, Republican Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter was re-elected with 41 percent of the vote on the Conservative line after the town GOP nominated Riverhead Town Councilwoman Jodi Giglio to replace the three-term incumbent. Giglio lost with 34 percent and Democratic challenger Anthony Coates got 24 percent.

Winning an open seat also on the East End was term-limited Suffolk County Legis. Jay Schneiderman (I-Montauk), who was elected to be the next Southampton town supervisor with 56 percent of the vote over Republican opponent Richard Yastrzemski, who drew 44 percent. Current Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst declined to seek re-election but is the Democratic candidate hoping to unseat freshman U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) next year.

Back in Nassau, Anthony Santino kept the Hempstead town supervisor’s seat in Republican hands after the current occupant of that post, Kate Murray, declined to seek re-election and instead ran a losing campaign for Nassau County District Attorney. Santino beat Democratic opponent Rita Kestenbaum 60-to-40 percent.

Incumbents won the other half dozen town supervisor races island-wide. They include Democratic North Hempstead Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth beating GOP challenger Anthony Bulzomi 68-to-32 percent, Republican Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine routing Democratic challenger Douglas Dittko 72-to-23 percent and Democratic East Hampton Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell winning 68 percent of the vote over Republican challenger Thomas Knobel’s 32 percent.

Democratic Shelter Island Town Supervisor James Dougherty beat Republican challenger Arthur Williams 60-to-39 percent and Republican Southold Town Supervisor Scott Russell won 65 percent over Democratic challenger Damon Rallis’ 35 percent.

And Islip Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter, who was appointed to the town’s top job in March, was elected with 62 percent of the vote over Democratic opponent Thomas Licari, who got 38 percent.