The Following articles represent the coverage of the 2013 election in Brookhaven’s 4th Council District by Newsday. Take a look at this coverage as well as summary: “It’s Time this Election Came to an End.”

Judge sets hearings on disputed Brookhaven elections

Tuesday November 26, 2013 12:00 PM By Deborah S. Morris and Carl MacGowan

A State Supreme Court judge has set a date next week to begin two hearings regarding disputed elections in the Town of Brookhaven.

Justice Carol MacKenzie set the date yesterday during a scheduling conference, according to Jared A. Kasschau, the attorney for incumbent town board member Democrat Connie Kepert.

The judge will rule on the validity of 48 ballots cast in the 4th District council race between Kepert and Republican challenger Michael Loguercio Jr., when that hearing begins on Dec. 3 in State Supreme Court in Central Islip.

Also that day Mackenzie will oversee a hearing on disputed ballots in the close contest for 6th District Court judge between Democrat Chris A. Kelley and Conservative Barbara Lynaugh. In unofficial results, Lynaugh led Kelley by 422 votes.

“I don’t know if the cases have been formally joined but they are related and are tracking one another,” Kasschau said.
 


Judge to help decide Brookhaven election outcome

Originally published: November 20, 2013 9:15 PM
Updated: November 20, 2013 9:39 PM
By DEON J. HAMPTON AND CARL MACGOWAN  deon.hampton@newsday.com,carl.macgowan@newsday.com


A State Supreme Court judge is expected to examine disputed ballots and decide the outcome of the last unresolved Brookhaven Town council race next week, officials said Wednesday.

The judge, who has not been named, is tentatively scheduled to hold a hearing on Monday at which the judge may rule on the validity of 48 ballots cast in the 4th District council race between incumbent Democrat Connie Kepert and Republican challenger Michael Loguercio Jr. The location of the hearing will be decided when a judge is chosen.

Loguercio, a Longwood school board member, led Kepert by 94 votes when ballots were counted on Election Day. Kepert pulled to within 11 votes after absentee ballots were tallied, officials have said.


Republicans challenged 32 ballots and Democrats 16 ballots. The 4th District covers hamlets in central Brookhaven.

Loguercio said Wednesday he was "cautiously optimistic" he would win the election.

"But on the other hand, I'm not ready to celebrate," he said. "I'm just preparing, very quietly, to represent District 4. I'm preparing because I don't want to wait until the last second to start the transition."

Kepert, an eight-year incumbent, said Wednesday that she was "very hopeful that it will work out in our favor."

Elections must be certified by the end of the month.

Brookhaven Town Republican chairman Jesse Garcia said the 4th District race already is close. "It's a barn burner of an election," he said.

Kepert was one of two incumbent Brookhaven councilwoman in danger of losing her seat. The other, Kathleen Walsh, a former Republican who ran on the Democratic line, was defeated by Republican challenger Kevin LaValle.

Republican-backed candidates won five of seven seats on the town board. The lone Democratic winner was newcomer Valerie Cartright, who won the 1st District council seat held by outgoing Democrat Steve Fiore-Rosenfeld.

Also on Monday, an unnamed judge is expected to rule on disputed ballots in the close contest for 6th District Court judge between Democrat Chris A. Kelley and Conservative Barbara Lynaugh. In unofficial results, Lynaugh led Kelley by 422 votes.


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Brookhaven Council races remain unresolved

Originally published: November 14, 2013 8:00 PM
Updated: November 14, 2013 8:14 PM
By CARL MACGOWAN  carl.macgowan@newsday.com


The outcome of two closely contested Brookhaven Town Council races remained unresolved Thursday, more than a week after Election Day.

Preliminary vote tabulations released last week showed the races for the 1st and 4th district council seats, both held by Democrats, were too close to call. Republicans had hoped to win both contests, giving them a sweep of town board seats.

Republicans won five of seven board seats on Nov. 5, with the 1st and 4th district races undecided.

Unofficial results showed Republican Michael Loguercio Jr. had upset incumbent Democrat Connie Kepert by 94 votes to win the 4th district council seat. In the 1st district, Democrat Valerie Cartright led Republican Leslea Snyder by 349 votes in the race to succeed outgoing Democrat Steve Fiore-Rosenfeld.

Final results of both elections hinged on absentee ballots that Suffolk Board of Elections officials were still counting on Thursday.

It was unclear when the elections would be certified. Election board Commissioner Anita Katz could not be reached for comment.

Kepert said Thursday she hopes to hold on to the seat she has occupied for eight years.

"We're still very much in the game," she said, adding that absentee ballots had brought her within 11 votes of overtaking Loguercio. "I gained 83 votes on the counting of the absentee ballots, so I'm very pleased with that. I think I'll end up, hopefully, winning the race."

Snyder declined to speculate on the outcome of her race, but she said Cartright's narrow lead gave her hope of winning when absentee ballots are counted. "That in itself, I think, is a really positive statement," she said. Loguercio and Cartright could not be reached for comment.

The current town board includes four Republicans, including Supervisor Edward P. Romaine, who was re-elected; two Democrats and independent Kathleen Walsh.

Republican incumbents Daniel Panico, Jane Bonner and Timothy Mazzei won. Walsh, a former Republican who ran with Democratic endorsement, was defeated by Republican challenger Kevin LaValle.

Kepert said disputed votes in her election may go before a judge, who would rule on whether those ballots are valid. She said Republicans had challenged 32 ballots, and Democrats challenged 16.

"Right now it's just a waiting game, unfortunately," she said. "I try not to think about it too much."

With Deon J. Hampton


GOP retakes control of Brookhaven town board

Originally published: November 6, 2013 8:26 PM
Updated: November 6, 2013 8:51 PM
By CARL MACGOWAN AND DEON J. HAMPTON  carl.macgowan@newsday.com,deon.hampton@newsday.com


Brookhaven Republicans nearly completed a sweep of town races by ousting a former GOP councilwoman, taking one Democratic council seat and falling only hundreds of votes short of winning another.

Just 14 months after Democrats held the supervisor's seat and had a working majority on the town board, resurgent Republicans appeared in Tuesday's election to reclaim a town that had been a GOP stronghold for decades, before scandal soured voters on Republican incumbents.

"Suddenly Brookhaven is back to being a Republican leader," said Lawrence Levy, executive dean of Hofstra's National Center for Suburban Studies, adding that GOP leaders sought to ensure "that every Republican who would vote for a Republican candidate went out to the polls. They managed to craft a message that appealed to independents and some Democrats, and that is a potent combination."


Republican Supervisor Edward P. Romaine defeated Democrat Vivian Viloria-Fisher by 25 percentage points, and GOP Highway Superintendent Daniel Losquadro soundly beat Democrat Lori Baldassare. GOP challengers beat Councilwoman Kathleen Walsh, a former Republican running on the Democratic line, and held a slim lead over Democratic Councilwoman Connie Kepert.

"There weren't a lot of competitive races in Brookhaven, so they targeted me," said Kepert, who was behind Republican challenger Michael A. Loguercio Jr. by 94 votes with 538 absentee ballots to be counted. "We were outgunned by the Republicans. They put a lot of resources into the campaigns."

Republicans, who hold a 9,900-voter advantage in the county's largest town, fell short of a sweep by only 349 votes -- the margin of victory for Democrat Valerie Cartright in the First Council District. "Having one Democrat clearly poses a problem on the board," said Cartright, who defeated Republican Leslea Snyder to retain the seat held by outgoing Democrat Steve Fiore-Rosenfeld.

Democrats Brian X. Foley and Mark Lesko led the town for seven years before Republicans regained control when Romaine won a special election last November after Lesko resigned.

Romaine's image took a hit when a February blizzard snarled roads while he vacationed in Jamaica.

"I guess the voters listened to the message we were talking about," he said in an interview. "I approach the job every day the same way. I work on the issues that matter to the residents and the taxpayers."

Levy said Romaine "worked very, very hard to overcome that very rough start and obviously showed enough to voters that they were willing to forgive him. It shows us that you can come back from one bad week."