Proposition 1 defeated (school infrastructure improvements)
Proposition 2 defeated (artificial turf athletic field)
Proposition 1 defeated (school infrastructure improvements)
Proposition 2 defeated (artificial turf athletic field)
In a year of narrow margins of victory and slim majorities in the U.S. House and Senate, Republicans made steady gains in Suffolk County. Following this outcome, TBR News Media spoke independently with Rich Schaffer and Jesse Garcia, respective chairmen of the Suffolk Democratic and Republican committees, for their views on the local outcome.
In Suffolk County, I think voters were clear in demonstrating that they had great concerns about some of the issues out of Albany, issues revolving around public safety, law enforcement and affordability. I think [Republican gubernatorial nominee U.S. Rep.] Lee Zeldin [R-NY1] spoke to that, and that’s why you had the results you had where I think he gathered about 59% of the [Suffolk] vote.
We, the Democratic Party, need to do a better job on messaging. The governor [Kathy Hochul (D)] delivered record amounts of state aid for education, and nobody even knew about it. The governor delivered record amounts of infrastructure monies that fixed the LIE and various roads throughout the county, and nobody knew about it. The governor held up the state budget to have tweaks made to the bail reform and criminal justice issues that were passed by the Legislature earlier this year, and nobody knew about it.
I think we failed at our messaging, and the Republicans did a better job on that.
I’m very proud of the reaction of the voters of Suffolk County and of the hard work of the Suffolk County Republican Committee members involved here. This is a process that began in the cold, wintery nights of February. It culminated with the night we call our Super Bowl, with a successful election night.
Our goal was to deliver 60% of the vote for Lee Zeldin. We did, we gave him a plurality of 100,000 votes. I couldn’t be more proud of the efforts we put in in Suffolk County, Long Island and throughout the state. Because of our efforts, we knocked off a 40-year Democratic incumbent lawmaker [state Assemblyman Steve Englebright, previously a Suffolk County legislator (Setauket)] and we came very close in two other seats, AD-11 and the 4th Senatorial District.
All in all, it was a very successful night. More importantly, it was a successful night for the voters of Suffolk County.
I can’t speak to the county numbers because I don’t have all of them, but I’ve been looking at the Babylon numbers because I’m an elected official in Babylon.
We underperformed in terms of turnout. Republicans had their normal turnout in Babylon. Blanks [i.e., those not registered with any party] and Democrats had about 10% to 15% less turnout than we would normally have in a gubernatorial election year. That alone speaks to my answer to the first question, messaging. And two, in terms of turning out people who would normally turn out for us, we didn’t do a good job doing that. We have to find out why they didn’t turn out.
We always set very lofty goals for ourselves. In my time as chairman of the Republican Party here in Suffolk County, in every election cycle we have flipped a blue seat. I have great confidence in this committee. When we set our minds to a goal, we meet them. On Nov. 9 and 10, we were in our headquarters plotting out the next election cycle and setting goals there for our town and our county.
I don’t know if it’s changing, but I would say that it’s always going to be a moderate to conservative place. The enrollment numbers are pretty much even, Democrat to Republican, and then there’s another third who are independent, blanks.
You are seeing ticket splitting because Democrats are getting elected in various places. If there’s an answer to your question about changing, I would say that Suffolk County voters are voting in a more moderate to conservative way, whether they be a registered Democrat, Republican or not registered with any party. And maybe that’s to say that registration doesn’t determine how someone’s going to vote.
I think they’re going to come out and they’re going to vote based on how they feel about the particular issues of the day, and if you haven’t done your job on messaging then you’re not going to win that battle.
I think that it’s changing in a way that we are utilizing Republican governance as the proper way to govern at the town level, the county level, or the state and federal levels. I use our supervisors throughout the town, our Republican supervisors with Republican majorities, to show the voters that there’s a different way to govern, and I think that way is now being responded to.
Even deep blue seats in the strongholds of the Democratic Party — whether it be Babylon Town or in the 1st [Council] District of Brookhaven — we have had historic victories this year. While we’ve had successes at the townwide level, this year we finally broke through that ceiling and were successful at the [state] level by defeating Assemblyman Englebright.
I believe that the voter trends that we’re seeing are the results of the political infrastructure, on one hand. On the other hand, residents are recognizing the difference between Republican and Democratic governance.
Absolutely. I think any time you make voting more accessible, you’re going to get a better response from people. We were always champions of communicating with people who are on permanent absentee [ballot status], those who are in nursing homes or who are not able to get out and vote physically.
Keep in mind, if someone requests a ballot early, or with early voting as much as 10 days out, you have to kind of move up your communications schedule so that you don’t lose the opportunity to communicate with those people and have an impact. If there’s a change in strategy, it’s probably moving up the communication schedule and doing it earlier.
I made a commitment to our leaders, to our candidates, our elected officials, our committee people and to the voters of Suffolk County that I will adapt.
I will make sure that this party has the wherewithal to adapt to any and all shenanigans on the electoral side set forth by the Democratic majority in Albany.
We continue to do that on an annual basis, and this year — unlike in previous years — the absentee ballots were not as disastrous.
As I said, I adapt each and every year our tactics, our approach and our strategies to any electoral shenanigans that the Democrats in Albany put into place.
More direct communication. I’ve told our party members that we have to get back to doing door-to-door. Obviously, COVID really knocked the you-know-what out of that. People have just given up on talking to people in an office, relying on text messages and emails. Mailings have kind of even dropped down now. It’s become who can get their message out on TikTok and Instagram.
I think people have become immune to that because they’re just pounded all day long with social media and technology, so I think we have to get back to more direct, one-on-one social interaction. The local election year next year, 2023, is a great year to do that because turnout does drop in ‘23 with a smaller group of people to communicate with.
I think it’s important to do that and to get the party people to do that, because that’s the best way to have an impact on getting your people out and getting people to buy into your message.
We’re going to continue doing what we’re doing. We’re going to expand and grow our coalitions. We’re going to learn from the successes we had in 2022. Those areas that we think we can improve upon, we will.
My goal right now is to reelect the incumbents in Brookhaven Town, in my capacity as Brookhaven Town [Republican Committee] chairman.
And then to set my sights on the county executive’s seat, filling it with a Republican for the first time in 20 years, and to expand and maintain the Republican majority elected last year [in the county Legislature].
In a major upset, Republican Party challenger Edward Flood, of Port Jefferson, has defeated incumbent state Assemblyman Steve Englebright (D-Setauket). Englebright, who chairs the state Assembly’s Standing Committee on Environmental Conservation, has held the seat since 1992.
Flood maintains a 700-vote lead over Englebright, with a current vote count of 24,189-23,489, according to a Suffolk County Board of Elections official. While those tallies are still uncertified, the source suggested the race is safe to call in Flood’s favor.
In a phone interview on Friday afternoon, Flood said he learned of his victory shortly after noon that day. While this result stunned many within the community, it was no surprise to his team. “On Election Day, we expected to win, and we expected to win narrowly,” he said.
While the results are still uncertified, Englebright offered his thoughts on the race during a phone interview on Sunday morning. He remarked on the several factors that contributed to his defeat, notably the effect of U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin’s (R-NY1) gubernatorial campaign on races down the ballot.
“It appears that I have not prevailed in this election, so I am, of course, disappointed,” the assemblyman said. “The turnout was low, and the results were, in part, also because there was in this region of the state more focus on the Republican head of the ticket than there was on the Democratic one.”
Throughout the campaign, Flood focused on the issues of crime and the economy. While the assemblyman-elect attributes his win, in part, to declining trust in Albany, he credited those involved in his campaign.
“I think it was a combination of the general attitudes towards politics right now — what’s going on both statewide and nationwide, the issues that we were hitting on — and then our ground game,” he said. “We had a lot of volunteers. … Once we did some polling and realized our message was resonating, it just needed to get out.”
For Englebright, the result reflected a regional trend in this election cycle away from the Democrats. “We lost four [state] Senate seats — two of which were incumbents in Nassau County — and … it looks like we lost five [Democratic] assembly seats if you include the two in Brooklyn,” he said. “It was a disappointing evening for all Democrats, really.”
Despite his differences from the incumbent, Flood remarked on the qualities he admired in Englebright. “Assemblyman Englebright, at the end of the day, is a gentleman,” Flood said. “He was in this position for 30 years, a [county] legislator for nine. For someone to go through 39 years and never have an ethical thing come up, never have a scandal, it goes to the quality of the human being.” He added, “[Englebright] has been a champion of the environment, and that’s something I want to continue.”
Unlike his predecessor, Flood will be a minority member of the Assembly and a freshman legislator. Given these factors, Englebright encouraged Flood to find ways to be effective.
“I hope he is able to be relevant,” Englebright said. “The reality is he will be serving in the minority, and he will have a real challenge in just being able to accomplish rudimentary things.”
He added, “I hope that he’s able to be productive for the best interests of the people of the district, but all things are relative, and it’s a seniority-based system. As a freshman and minority member, it will be a challenge.”
In his interview, Flood reiterated a previous message about his intended role in Albany. While he brings some ideas and policy preferences to the office, he insists that his service requires collaboration with the communities he represents.
“I’m there to serve the people and their needs,” he said. “For a lot of people throughout the district, there are very similar needs and priorities that we want. We want good schools, safe neighborhoods, economic opportunities. We want the prices of things to come down, and we want to be able to manage to stay on Long Island.”
He concluded, “My door is always open to see what the needs of the community are and act appropriately. At the end of the day, I was elected to [advance] the needs and the work of the community, not necessarily my own needs.”
After serving in public office for nearly four decades, Englebright will soon return to life as a private citizen. However, the outgoing assemblyman pledged to stay involved in the community and remains committed to the principles and policies guiding his time in office.
“I’m in every way looking forward to continuing to make contributions to the community,” he said. “Ultimately, we are one community, and we have a need to respect our common heritage and continue to do everything possible to protect our quality of life by investing in young people and joining together to protect things that matter, such as the water quality of our harbors and drinking water,” adding, “These are things we should continue to work together on.”
A week has passed since Election Day, and the race for New York State Assembly District 4 has yet to be called. However, the Republican Party challenger Edward Flood, of Port Jefferson, appears to be on the brink of an upset.
As of press time, Flood maintains a 51-49% margin over incumbent state Assemblyman Steve Englebright (D-Setauket). With remaining votes outstanding and the outcome still undetermined, Englebright — who is current chair of the Assembly’s important Standing Committee on Environmental Conservation — declined to comment for this story.
In a phone interview on Tuesday evening, Flood gave an update on the remaining ballots. As of press time, Flood held a 973-vote lead with tallies of 23,707-22,734, according to the Suffolk County Board of Elections. Flood said roughly 1,100 absentee and affidavit ballots remain uncounted.
“I’ve been told it’s mathematically improbable but not impossible for me to lose,” he said. “It’s unofficial, but it’s looking like I have this.”
Even so, Flood has yet to declare victory in the race. He said he would prefer to let the process play out. “I haven’t formally said I won, but I’m hoping that as of tomorrow, we have some more definitive answers,” the Republican candidate said.
Initial reports of Flood’s prospective victory surprised many within the community. Englebright has held that seat since 1992, and before entering the state Assembly, had represented the area in the Suffolk County Legislature starting in 1983. Flood said he was not necessarily surprised by the outcome.
“For my campaign team, this wasn’t a shock,” he said. “We did some polling and we knew we were right there.” He added, “I understand why people outside my camp would call it a shock. Steve’s been there for a really long time … so I don’t discount the magnitude of what happened, but it wasn’t a shock to my team.”
If Flood is declared the victor in the coming days, he said he would like to begin the transition, starting with a discussion with his election opponent.
“I would like to have a conversation with Steve, if he would be willing to — and I think he’s a standup guy and I think he would — to kind of let me know what specific constituent problems they have,” Flood said. “We’ve reached out to a lot of the civics, and I’d like to sit with them and get some ideas … and just get a feel of what each community is looking for from me.”
He also said he plans to coordinate with the law enforcement community to understand the challenges experienced on the ground. He expressed his intent to “speak with law enforcement and get the best plan for how to address some of the issues with criminal justice reform that I think are just not working right now.”
To his possible constituency, Flood offered to maintain an open-door policy. He emphasized community outreach and maintaining close contact with community members.
“My job is to represent the people in the district, whether they voted for me or didn’t vote for me,” he said. “I’m not saying I don’t have some ideas, but I want this to be clear that I’m going to represent them and the interests of our community up in Albany.”
To follow the election results as the final ballots are counted, visit the website www.elections.ny.gov under “Suffolk County Election Night Results,” then scroll down to “New York Assembly AD#4.”
If the loss of Englebright’s seat is confirmed, TBR News Media plans to conduct an exit interview marking the end of his term.
While New Yorkers voted Democrat Kathy Hochul as the first woman elected governor, Republicans scored big in races throughout Suffolk County.
Due to September’s cyberattack, results for local races were delayed on Tuesday night as Suffolk County election workers struggled to upload votes.
After technical problems, election workers delivered voting booth memory cards to Yaphank headquarters for votes to be counted. The first voting results started trickling in by the early morning hours of Nov. 9.
New York State governor
Congressman Lee Zeldin (R-NY1), the Republican Party’s gubernatorial candidate, made a surprise appearance en route to his official viewing party in Manhattan. At the Stereo Garden in Patchogue, Zeldin expressed gratitude for the people of Suffolk County, saying his night would not be complete without first dropping in.
Slowly, the returns began to come in, and the room took on a different tone and tenor as the gubernatorial contest was called for incumbent Hochul.
With 94% reporting as of press time, Hochul carried the state by a 53-47% margin — unusually tight for a state that Democrats generally take handily.
“Tonight, you made your voices heard loud and clear, and you made me the first woman ever to be elected to be the governor of the State of New York,” Hochul said in her victory speech. “But I’m not here to make history. I’m here to make a difference.”
Zeldin conceded the afternoon of Nov. 9 in a statement.
“This race was a once-in-a-generation campaign, with a very close margin in the bluest of blue states,” Zeldin said. “The unrelenting passion and hard work of our grassroots volunteers and supporters made this incredibly close race possible and helped us win at least 49 of New York’s 62 counties.” He added, “Republicans, Democrats and Independents united as New Yorkers, pouring their heart and soul into this campaign.”
U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) was declared the victor early on Nov. 8, receiving 56% of the votes as of press time.
Despite this and a lackluster Republican performance nationwide, some at Stereo Garden did have cause to celebrate. In the race to fill Zeldin’s congressional seat, Nick LaLota defeated Suffolk County Legislator Bridget Fleming (D-Noyac) by a 56-44% margin with 94% reporting.
“Thank you to the voters of Suffolk County for placing your trust in me,” LaLota said in a statement. “I am extremely thankful for the trust and confidence you have placed in me, and I won’t let you down.”
At the state level, incumbent state Sen. Anthony Palumbo (R-New Suffolk) defeated Democratic Party challenger Skyler Johnson by 12 points. “This is a team effort, as you all know, and we don’t get here without the hard work of all of our volunteers,” Palumbo said in a speech.
Johnson said he wouldn’t make any promises about whether to run for another office. However, he hasn’t ruled it out, either.
“If I think that we have a viable path, and I think that what I can offer is what the constituents need, then ‘yes,’” he said.
State Sen. Mario Mattera (R-St. James) faced Democrat Susan Berland, formerly Suffolk County legislator in the 16th District and Town of Huntington councilwoman, for the seat in the 2nd District.
The incumbent retained his seat with more than 58% of the votes. Mattera said it felt great to hear the results of his race the morning of Nov. 9, even though he was disappointed that Zeldin lost the gubernatorial race.
“One party rule is upsetting to me because it’s like a business having a monopoly,” Mattera said.
The state senator said he is looking forward to returning to Albany to continue working toward bringing funds back to the area to help with infrastructure and local businesses. He added he was appreciative of the overwhelming support from his family, friends, law enforcement and trade unions, and the confidence they all have had in him.
In the state Assembly, incumbent Assemblywoman Jodi Giglio (R-Riverhead), who represents the 2nd District, easily won her race by a 32% margin over Democratic challenger Wendy Hamberger.
As of early afternoon Nov. 9, the race for Assembly District 4 was tight, with a mere 973 votes dividing the candidates. Incumbent state Assemblyman Steve Englebright (D-Setauket) is in a competitive bout with Republican challenger Edward Flood. Flood maintains a 2-point lead with 96% of the precincts reporting as of press time, though that race has not been called.
Englebright said his last race in 2020 was a close one, too, and he was not ready to make an official statement as of press time.
In the state Assembly District 8 race, incumbent Michael Fitzpatrick received more than 68% of the votes. His opponent, Democrat Jeanine Aponte, did not run an active campaign.
In addition to parts of Suffolk County, state Assembly District 10 also takes in parts of Nassau County. Incumbent Steve Stern (D-Dix Hills) was the winner with 54% of the votes (25,879), while IT professional Aamir Sultan (R) received 46% (21,843).
In the state Assembly race in the 12th District, incumbent Keith Brown (R-Northport), faced Democrat Cooper Macco.
Brown retained his seat with 58% of the votes. Macco said he would consider running for office in the future.
“It was a learning experience,” he said. “I think that in the future, hopefully, I can take what I’ve learned” and apply it to a campaign.
After losing a June primary, current Suffolk County Clerk Judith Pascale (R) did not run for the position.
Republican Vincent Puleo, the town clerk of Smithtown, faced Democrat Lisa Jimenez, a newcomer running for political office. Puleo won the race with 59% of the votes.
Incumbent county Comptroller John M. Kennedy Jr. (R) won reelection with ease at 60% over his inactive Democratic Party challenger, Thomas Dolan. During a speech at Stereo Garden, he thanked those who helped him secure victory and expressed his vision for the future.
“We left nothing untouched, ladies and gentlemen,” the comptroller said. “We will have change in Suffolk County, and we will restore Republican values, I’m confident.”
The $4.2 billion state Clean Water, Clean Air and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act of 2022 was approved by about 59% of voters (93.64% precincts reporting).
The Suffolk County term limits proposition, to 12 years total, passed with a massive 86% approval.
Polls closed in New York at 9 p.m.
Check out results from the state, federal and local North Shore races as they come in on election night. All results are courtesy of the New York State Board of Elections.
New York State Governor
Kathy Hochul (D): 52.65%; 3,031,877
Lee Zeldin (R): 47.35%; 2,727,152
Chuck Schumer (D): 55.84%; 3,109,157
Joe Pinion (R): 42.58%; 2,407,399
Diane Sare (LRE): .93%; 51,650
U.S. Congress CD#1
Bridget Fleming (D) 44.14%; 136,899
Nick LaLota (R) 55.86%; 173,275
New York State Senate SD # 1
Skyler Johnson (D) 43.55%; 55,362
Anthony Palumbo (R) 56.45%; 71,752
New York State Senate SD # 2
Susan Berland (D) 41.89%; 57,936
Mario Mattera (R) 58.11%; 80,362
New York State Assemblyman AD #2
Wendy Hamberger (D) 33.83%; 18,309
Jodi Giglio (R) 66.17%; 35,809
New York State Assemblyman AD #4
Steve Englebright (D) 48.95%; 22,734
Edward Flood (R) 51.05%; 23,707
New York State Assemblyman AD #8
Jeanine Aponte (D) 31.46%; 18,747
Michael Fitzpatrick (R) 68.45%; 40,851
New York State Assemblyman AD #10
Steve Stern (D): 54.73%; 23,896
Aamir Sultan (R): 45.27%; 19,763
New York State Assemblyman AD #12
Cooper Macco (D) 42.46%; 20,271
Keith Brown (R) 57.54%; 29,818
Suffolk County Clerk
Lisa Jimenez (D): 40.91%; 214,852
Vincent Puleo (R): 58.97%; 309,734
Suffolk County Comptroller
Thomas Dolan (D): 39.93%; 212,790
John Kennedy (R): 59.95%; 319,468
Yes – 69%; 2,439,615
No – 31%; 1,081,482
Yes – 85.9%; 438,755
No – 14.1%; 72,027
Last updated Nov. 9 at 11:55 a.m.
Sometimes TBR News Media doesn’t endorse a candidate in a race because the editorial staff feel both candidates would be equally competent. In the case of New York State Assembly’s 12th District, we were unable to get in touch with incumbent Keith Brown’s campaign to schedule a debate with his Democratic opponent Cooper Macco. We also did not hear from Brown’s campaign manager about interviewing the incumbent over the phone as we did with Macco.
When Brown ran in 2020 against Democrat Michael Marcantonio for Assembly District 12, the TBR debate was conducted via Zoom, and the editorial staff didn’t have the pleasure of meeting him in person. At the time, we endorsed Marcantonio.
Without being able to properly interview Brown about important matters in the district, we will not be endorsing a candidate in the 12th Assembly District.
We endorse incumbent Steve Stern in the 10th District of the New York State Assembly.
Stern has the experience needed to navigate a changing district. We compliment him in not following his party’s platform entirely and working toward removing some cashless crimes off the bail reform list.
In the past, he has described himself as a conservative Democrat and, in these divisive times, that is what is needed to help bridge the gap between Democrats and Republicans.
We feel Aamir Sultan has a lot of passion regarding running for public office, and we hope to see him do so again in the future. He has worked well with Democrats in his nonprofit endeavors, but his stances on COVID-19 vaccine mandates and the banning of certain books that he feels sexualize young children may lead to more divisiveness during a time when unity is needed.
This November, residents of New York’s 1st Congressional District are presented with two well-intentioned, highly informed candidates for U.S. Congress. Given the choice of only one, the majority of the TBR News Media endorses Suffolk County Legislator Bridget Fleming.
In our nearly two hours with the candidates, Fleming’s candor, intelligence, depth of insight and passion for the issues set her apart. Fleming expressed sincere concern for these matters and how they may affect real people. She did not speak of policies as a detached lawmaker but rather as a reflection of deeply held core values.
Whether on the economy, environment or future of American democracy, Fleming seemed deeply immersed in these subjects. Her platform seems guided by research and independent investigation but with a constant, overriding spirit of empathy and compassion driving her positions.
At this critical moment in our national history, Americans need to elect policymakers who can relate to the plight of ordinary citizens while engaging in reasoned, nuanced and empathetic policy debates. In her decades of experience championing her core beliefs, whether as a criminal prosecutor or public official, Fleming has proven she can do just that.
We hold that Fleming is the right person to represent the people of this district. This November, TBR News Media’s majority supports Bridget Fleming for NY-1.
The United States Congress has lost its way, and it is up to us, the voters, to put it back on track. If elected, Nick LaLota wants to do just that.
Americans overwhelmingly disapprove of the way Congress handles its work. Partisanship and polarization have eroded our national dialogue, and our elected representatives behave as children on a national stage.
Meanwhile, with each passing year, Congress delegates more of its power to the executive and the innumerable agencies and offices that comprise the federal bureaucracy.
The Framers envisioned Congress as the preeminent branch of the federal government. They believed the legislature would be closest and most accountable to the people. Our forebears would be appalled at how Congress has devolved, how our elected representatives pass the buck to unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats.
LaLota seems sensitive to this truth. In our office debate, he advocated for serious Congressional reform. LaLota supports limiting the size and scope of federal legislation, trimming the legislative process of its pork-barreling and partisan earmarking, and restricting the authority of the bureaucracy.
We need to revive the power and prestige of Congress. Nick LaLota has a plan to help get us there. This November, TBR News Media’s minority endorses him for Congress.