Suffolk Dems’ Supermajority in Legislature Hinges on 1 Undecided Race

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone shares a stage with Democratic colleagues in the legislature at the IBEW Local 25 union hall in Hauppauge on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015 (Long Island Press photo).

The Democrats continue to hold the majority of the Suffolk County Legislature following Tuesday’s elections, but Republicans may have picked up one seat to give the GOP minority a say over borrowing.

Legis. Sarah Anker (D-Mount Sinai) had a one-vote lead over GOP challenger Steven Tricarico of Wading River in the sixth district, according to the unofficial election results from the Suffolk County Board of Elections—making the race too close to call until absentee and other paper ballots are counted.

Democrats currently have a 12-6 supermajority that allows them to pass bonding without seeking support from the Republican minority, but if Tricarico unseats Anker, the majority needs at least one GOP lawmaker’s vote, putting a check on the power of newly re-elected Democratic Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone’s ability to borrow.

“We are going to win this race,” Tricarico , the deputy superintendent of highways for the Town of Brookhaven, said at the Portugese American Center in Farmingville, where the Suffolk County Republican Committee held their election night party.

“Mark my words: He will be sworn in in January,” added Suffolk County Republican Chair John Jay LaValle.

But at the IBEW Local 25 union hall in Hauppauge, Suffolk County Democratic Chair Richard Schaffer told party faithful that he was confident Anker would win. Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory (D-Amityville) jokingly called her “Landslide Anker.”

“Suffolk County Dems have retained control of the Suffolk County Legislature,” Schaffer told supporters.

Winning the closely watched second district race for the seat vacated by term-limited Legis. Jay Schneiderman (I-Montauk) was Democrat Bridget Fleming, a Southampton town councilwoman who beat Amos Goodman, a financial consultant and political newcomer from Springs who is the first openly gay GOP candidate for county office on LI.

Also closely watched was the race in which freshman Legis. Monica Martinez (D-Brentwood), a Bellone ally and former educator, preemptively conceded the Democratic primary to her opponent, Giovanni Mata, who’s allied with former Democratic county lawmaker Rick Montano, who Martinez unseated two years ago. Martinez led Mata by 182 voters, but that race may see a recount, although Democrats retain the seat either way.

Rounding out the most closely watched Suffolk legislative races was the 14th district, where freshman Legis. Kevin McCaffrey (R-Lindenhurst), the Minority Leader of the legislature’s Republican caucus, won over Democratic challenger Timothy Sini of Babylon, the deputy Suffolk County executive for public safety.

In the first district, freshman Legis. Al Krupski (D-Cutchogue), the first farmer and the first Southold town resident elected to the county legislature, beat Republican challenger Remy Bell of Riverhead, a Suffolk County elections clerk and former small business owner.

In the third district, Legis. Kate Browning (WF-Shirley) won her sixth two-year term, which will be her last under the county’s term limits, over GOP challenger William Toranzo, a retired New York City police detective from Shirley.

In the fourth district, Legis. Thomas Muratore (R-Lake Ronkonkoma), a former Suffolk police officer, won his fourth term over Democratic challenger Jonathan Rockfeld, an assistant election clerk for the Suffolk County Board of Elections from Centereach.

In the fifth district, Legis. Kara Hahn (D-Setauket), a former civic leader and legislative spokeswoman, won her third term by fending off Republican challenger Donna Cumella of Port Jefferson Station, a political newcomer who works in the Suffolk County Information Technology department.

In the seventh district, Legis. Robert Calarco (D-Patchogue), who is the Majority Leader of the legislature’s Democratic caucus, won over Republican challenger Frank Tassone, a former assistant deputy county executive also from Patchogue.

In the eighth district, freshman Legis. William Lindsay (D-Bohemia), son of the longest-serving presiding officer in the county’s history, beat GOP challenger Mary Beth Calamia, a certified social worker from Holbrook.

In the 10th district, Legis. Tom Cilmi (R-Bay Shore), a former small business owner, won his fourth term over Democratic challenger Joseph Hagelmann, the former chair of the Islip Town Democratic Committee from Ronkonkoma.

In the 12th district, Legis. Leslie Kennedy (R-Nesconset), who won her husband’s former seat in a special election earlier this year, was re-elected to her first full two-year term, beating Democratic challenger Adam Halpern, an assistant Suffolk County attorney from Hauppauge.

In the 13th district, freshman Legis. Robert Trotta (R-Northport), a retired Suffolk police detective, won his second term over Democratic challenger Richard Macellaro, a retired home health-care administrator is vice chair of the Smithtown Democratic Committee from Kings Park.

In the 16th district, Legis. Steve Stern (D-Dix Hills) won his sixth term—meaning he too is term-limited from running again—against Republican challenger Thomas McNally, a litigator also from Dix Hills.

In the 17th district, Legis. Louis D’Amaro (D-North Babylon) also won his sixth and last term against GOP challenger Janet Heller-Smitell, a personal injury attorney from Huntington.

In the 18th district, Legis. Dr. William Spencer (D-Centerport) won his third term over Republican challenger Grant Lally, an attorney from Huntington.

Running unopposed were Gregory, the presiding officer who represents the 15th district, and Legis. Thomas Barraga (R-West Islip), who represents the 11th district.