Following tallies of absentee ballots that were completed yesterday by the Suffolk County Board of Elections, Laura Ahearn and Laura Jens-Smith both won their Democractic primaries.
Ahearn, a crime-victim advocate, will run in November against Assemblyman Anthony Palumbo (R-New Suffolk) for the seat being vacated by longtime New York State Sen. Ken LaValle (R-Port Jefferson), who announced he is retiring after the end of this year.
The executive director of Parents for Megan’s Law and the Crime Victim’s Center, defeated Brookhaven Councilwoman Valerie Cartright, Southampton Town Board member Tommy John Schiavoni, Suffolk Community College student Skyler Johnson and nurse Nora Higgins.
“I would like to thank my voters for their support, and the other participants in this race for their hard work and determination to advance our shared values,” Ahearn said in a statement. “I look forward to the election in November, where everyone involved in this primary effort can work together and send a forward-thinking, pro-choice woman to represent this seat in Albany for the first time in its history.”
In a post on her candidacy Facebook page, Cartright, who received the second-most number of votes, conceded the race and thanked voters for their support.
“The results are in and the Democratic candidate chosen is not the one we hoped for … my fight for our community is outside the bounds of any one election,” she said. “Our efforts will not cease. We will be steadfast until every goal is achieved. I will continue to fight for each of you as a Brookhaven councilwoman.”
Schiavoni, a Southampton town councilman, received the third-most number of votes.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to seek such an office and offer my skills and experience to the people of senate district 1,” he said. “Our democracy survives only with effort and is dependent upon the participation of thoughtful men and women voting, caring and resisting the complacency that leaves the responsibility of governing to others.”
Johnson, a young Mount Sinai resident and recent graduate of Suffolk County Community College, gained 12 percent of the total votes.
“I don’t consider this a loss,” he said in a statement. “I was able to set the stage for a number of issues in this primary election.”
Jens-Smith will be vying for the Second District State Assembly seat being vacated by Palumbo, she will face Republican challenger Jodi Giglio. She won by over 50 percent of the votes against her opponent, Sound Beach resident Will Schleisner.
“I want to thank the people of the Second district who have humbled me with their support, this pandemic election hasn’t been easy—but folks rose to the occasion, and turned out in huge numbers…now we set our sights toward November,” she said in a statement.
On his campaign Facebook, Schleisner congratulated Jens-Smith and said he will join the campaign of Steve Polgar to compete for Assembly District 3.
New York State Senator – 1st District (Democratic)
Laura Ahearn – 34% – 2,360 in person votes – absentee ballot 6,059 – total votes 8,419
Valerie Cartright – 27% – 2,120 in person votes – absentee ballot 4,442 – total votes 6,562
Thomas Schiavoni – 24% – 1,812 in person votes – absentee ballot 4,006 – total votes 5818
Skyler Johnson – 12% – 945 in person votes – absentee ballot 1,882 – total votes 2,827
Nora Higgins – 4% – 356 in person votes – absentee votes 596 – total votes 952
New York State Assembly – 2nd District (Democratic)
Laura M. Jens-Smith – 77.99% – 1,772 in person votes – absentee ballots 4,645 votes – total votes 6,147
William Schleisner – 22.01% – 500 in person votes – absentee ballots – 1,475- total votes 1,975