For incumbent Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman, winning re-election on Tuesday night was certainly something to celebrate, but so was the election of Steve Bellone into the Suffolk County Executive’s seat.
“That is a big thing for me,” said Schneiderman on Wednesday morning. “I am looking forward to what I think will be my best term yet on the legislature. I have a great relationship with Steve Bellone. I have big coalition to work with in the legislature, so we should be able to get a lot done.”
Schneiderman, an Independence Party member who was cross endorsed by the Democratic Party and Working Families Party, sailed to a comfortable victory over his Republican challenger, Cornelius Kelly, on Tuesday night.
According to unofficial results posted by the Suffolk County Board of Elections (BOE), Schneiderman nabbed close to 66 percent of the vote, earning 11,260 ballots before absentee votes were counted. Kelly, an East Quogue businessman, earned 5,882 votes in his favor.
The race for Suffolk County Executive was a closer call, but just after 11 p.m. Bellone — the Democratic candidate —announced victory. The Babylon Town Supervisor will replace Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy, a Democrat turned Republican who pulled out of the race for another term at the helm of the county amid an investigation into improprieties in his campaign fundraising.
According to unofficial results out of the Suffolk County BOE, Bellone earned 130,607 votes, about 57-percent of the ballots cast. Republican candidate Angie Carpenter trailed with 100,119 votes in her favor.
On Wednesday morning, Schneiderman said he was grateful that residents on the South Fork appreciated the work he has done on the legislature over the last eight years.
“I had a real opponent this time and he campaigned hard,” said the Montauk resident. “The results show that doing a good job still matters and people want to keep public servants who are delivering results for them”
Come January, with Bellone’s help, Schneiderman said he would seek to have sex offender trailers in Riverside and Westhampton permanently shut down. Jump starting the economy, and ensuring the South Fork is given its fair amount of sales tax revenues to support its local police forces are also top priorities, as is settling the ownership issue of Long Wharf with the Village of Sag Harbor, said Schneiderman.
“Bellone was a town manager,” he said. “He is going to have a strong relationship with towns and villages, where Levy took a more adversarial role. I think Bellone will be interested in what is best for the village and what is also good for economic development.”