Despite Election Day being Nov. 3, local races have a week or more to settle on the final count.
Suffolk County Republican Board of Elections commissioner, Nick LaLota, said via email they hope counting will be finished before Thanksgiving, Nov. 26, though there is no way to know when everything will be finalized.
Republican candidates took leads in every local state and congressional race based on in-person ballots as the BOE started its absentee ballot count Nov. 16. Election experts have repeatedly said on average more Democrats used absentee ballots than Republicans did, though races will largely depend on unaffiliated voters.
With that said, it will still be hard going for many Democrats in a few of the most hotly contested races. The U.S. Congressional District 1 race between U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY1) and his Democratic opponent Nancy Goroff still remains out, though Zeldin currently holds a 65,120-vote lead. There are still over 89,000 absentee ballots left in that race, but Goroff would need to reportedly take all non-GOP registered votes in order to gain the upper hand.
A similar challenge is there in the New York State Senate District 1 race for Democrat Laura Ahearn, who has a steep uphill climb against her challenger, current Assemblyman Anthony Palumbo (R-New Suffolk). Ahearn is down by 18,736 from in-person polling, and there are over 42,000 absentee ballots left to count, and she will need many votes outside the two main parties to gain the seat.
The race for State Senate District 2 between Republican Mario Mattera and Democrat Mike Siderakis is heavily favoring red, as there is a 35,109 difference in votes favoring Mattera with less than 43,000 votes to count.
The State Assembly District 2 race between Democrat Laura Jens-Smith and Republican Jodi Giglio is likely to go in favor of the GOP. With a 14,355 difference and just under 17,000 absentee ballots to count, Giglio has all but cinched her new position. Jens-Smith has previously told TBR News Media she knows she has very little chance of victory.
Some elections are closer than others, such as State Assembly District 4. Many residents reported surprise in messages to TBR News Media at longtime Assemblyman Steve Englebright’s (D-Setauket) deficit of votes compared to his Republican opponent Michael Ross of 1,966. That race currently has 17,909 absentee ballots left to count.
However, there are a few confirmed elections. State Assemblyman Mike Fitzpatrick (R-St. James), with his lead of 23,419 with in-person ballots, is so far ahead of his young Democratic opponent Dylan Rice even the over-17,000 absentee ballots could not make a dent in the District 8 race.
On Nov, 17, U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-NY3) said his opponent George Santos called him to concede. In a statement, Santos credited grassroots supporters and donors for the close race.
“I am proud that we gained the support of every PBA and first responder organization that endorsed this cycle,” Santos said.
Santos said there may be more announcements in the near future regarding his next steps.
“I would like to congratulate Congressman Tom Suozzi,” Santos said. “We wish him well going forward for the benefit of our district and constituents.”
State Sen. Jim Gaughran (D-Northport) declared victory Nov. 18 against his Republican opponent Ed Smyth. This came after votes absentee votes already counted in both Nassau and Suffolk put him over the edge.
“I am humbled to be reelected by the residents of the 5th Senate District and I thank them for their support,” Gaughran said in a statement. “During my first term in office, I worked tirelessly on behalf of Long Islanders and I am proud to have delivered real results — from a permanent property tax cap to support for small businesses navigating the COVID-19 pandemic. I will keep fighting for my constituents, for Long Island, and for all of New York State and I thank the voters for giving me the opportunity to continue to serve them.”
Above, is a breakdown of where each race stands with in-person votes as at Nov. 18 plus the number of absentee ballots left as last reported on Nov. 16 (from the Suffolk County Board of Elections).
Current vote totals are as of the morning of Nov. 18
Lee Zeldin (R): 176,323 Votes – 61.31%
Nancy Goroff (D): 111,203 Votes – 38.67%
Absentee Ballots: 89,401
Tom Suozzi (D): 46,112 Votes – 46.65%
George Santos (R): 52,117 Votes – 52.72%
Absentee Ballots: 34,902
New York State Senate
Laura Ahearn (D): 55,557 Votes – 42.78%
Anthony Palumbo (R): 74,293 Votes – 57.20%
Absentee Ballots: 42,550
Mario Mattera (R): 79,762 Votes – 64.10%
Mike Siderakis (D): 44,653 Votes – 35.88%
Absentee Ballots: 42,781
Jim Gaughran (D): 27,132 Votes – 43.51%
Ed Smyth (R): 34,575 Votes – 55.44%
Absentee Ballots: 21,276
New York State Assembly
Jodi Giglio (R): 34,290 Votes – 62.39%
Laura Jens-Smith (D): 19,935 Votes – 36.27%
Absentee Ballots: 16,979
Michael Ross (R): 22,966 Votes – 51.88%
Steve Englebright (D): 21,000 Votes – 47.44%
Absentee Ballots: 17,909
Mike Fitzpatrick (R): 39,937 Votes – 70.73%
Dylan Rice (D): 16,518 Votes – 29.26%
Absentee Ballots: 17,227
Steve Stern (D): 24,141 Votes – 49.93%
Jamie Silvestri (R): 24,197 Votes – 50.05%
Absentee Ballots: 18,529
Keith Brown (R): 30,638 Votes – 57.20%
Michael Marcantonio (D): 22,908 Votes – 42.77%
Absentee Ballots: 15,906