State Senator Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) ousted six-term incumbent Congressman Tim Bishop (D-Southampton) by a 10-point margin in New York’s First Congressional District.

Zeldin won 55 percent of the vote to Bishop’s 45 percent.

“Tonight you helped change America,” Zeldin declared, pumping his fist in the air.

zeldin--numbers“It looks like on top of expanding our majority in the House, we finally have the United States Senate, too, bringing a much-needed check and balance on the agenda of Barack Obama, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi,” Zeldin told the cheering crowd at the Emporium in Patchogue, where the Suffolk Republican party set up headquarters to watch the election night returns come in.

“Every good idea we have had in Washington over the last couple years, Barack Obama whispered in Harry Reid’s ear and they were dead on arrival,” Zeldin said. “And the mainstream media reported it, asking the House Republicans, ‘why are you passing one-house bills?’ Well you know what? Now those bills are going on Barack Obama’s desk.”

Earlier in the evening, Bishop conceded the race before a subdued crowd at the Islandia Marriott. He said he’d called Zeldin and had a “very gracious conversation” with the congressman-elect, pledging his full cooperation during the transition over the next several weeks.

It was not a good night for Democrats across the county, where even Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who won nearly 54 percent of the vote statewide, polled behind Republican challenger Rob Astorino, with just 47 percent of the votes cast in Suffolk.

Republican Suffolk County Legislator John Kennedy, the minority leader, was elected comptroller, defeating Democrat Jim Gaughran, 53 to 47 percent.

In the Second Assembly District on the North Fork, Assemblyman Anthony Palumbo (R-New Suffolk) won election to his first full term of office, handily defeating challenger Tom Schiliro (D-Manorville) with 63 percent of the vote.

South Fork Assemblyman Fred Thiele (I-Sag Harbor) won re-election with 60 percent of the vote in a three-way race.

State Senator Ken LaValle (R-Port Jefferson) won a 20th term of office with 70 percent of the vote in the First Senatorial District. LaValle will return to a State Senate where Republicans will have a clear majority for the first time since 2008, with at least 33 of the 63 senate seats.

A little more than one-third of the county’s registered  voters went to the polls yesterday.

All five ballot propositions approved

Suffolk voters approved a ballot proposition eliminating the office of county treasurer and merging the Department of Finance and Taxation with the Department of Audit and Control, which is under the oversight of the county comptroller. The restructuring, advocated by Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and opposed by Suffolk Republicans, — including legislative minority leader Kennedy, who was elected to the comptroller post Tuesday — was approved with 58 percent of the vote.

Sixty-six percent of voters approved a charter law that ends Suffolk County’s practice of diverting funds from the Drinking Water Protection Program to balance the county budget. The measure mandates restoration of diverted funds and establishes a repayment schedule. It also authorizes a new bond issuance for the Enhanced Suffolk County Water Protection Program and allows the county to use excess funds for sewage treatment and septic systems.

Southampton Town voters approved a land swap with the county, transferring to the county a strip of town-owned land on the Riverside traffic circle in exchange for a parcel of county-owned land adjacent to and west of the town’s land along the Peconic River. The trade, approved by 74 percent of the voters, furthers the county’s plans to expand and widen the Riverside traffic circle.

Statewide ballot measures were approved creating a legislative redistricting commission and authorizing a $2 billion “smart schools” technology bond.

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Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.