It’s Election Day in New York. Voters in Suffolk go to the polls today to elect town and county officials. (See sample ballot below.)
Suffolk voters will elect a county executive and the 18 members of the county legislature.
The county executive race pits Republican county comptroller and former county legislator John Kennedy against incumbent county executive Steve Bellone, who is seeking election to his third and final four-year term in office. (Suffolk has a 12-year term limits law.) Greg Fischer of Calverton is running on the Libertarian Party line.
Fiscal management and the stability of the county’s finances were the top issues in the race. Kennedy points to the state comptroller’s finding that Suffolk is the most fiscally stressed county in the state. Bellone says he has worked hard to clean up the fiscal mess he inherited, including a half-billion dollar operating deficit.
County Legislator Al Krupski (D-Cutchogue) is running essentially unopposed in the First Legislative District. Remy Bell (R-Riverhead) is on the ballot but has not actively campaigned. First elected to the legislature in a special election in January 2013, Krupski was the first farmer ever elected to the county legislature. He has focused on land preservation and the countywide sewage treatment initiative to reduce nitrogen pollution in groundwater.
Supervisor Laura Jens-Smith (D-Laurel) is seeking election to a second term of office, battling a challenge from Yvette Aguiar (R-Riverhead), who is making her first run for elective office. See preview and analysis.
Two seats are up for election on the Riverhead Town Board. Incumbent Tim Hubbard (R-Aquebogue) is seeking a second four-year term. Also in the running for council seats are: Frank Beyrodt (R-Baiting Hollow), Pat Snyder (D-Riverhead), Diane Tucci (D-Riverhead) and Libertarian William Van Helmond of Jamesport. See town board preview.
Four candidates are seeking two seats on the Riverhead board of assessors. They are incumbent Mason Haas (R-Jamesport) and newcomers Meredith Lipinsky (R-Wading River), Tara Taylor (D-Riverhead) and Jaraby Thomas (D-Wading River). See preview.
Three local candidates are seeking re-election unopposed. Town Clerk Diane Wilhelm (D-Baiting Hollow), Receiver of Taxes Laurie Zaneski (R-Aquebogue) and Town Justice Lori Hulse (R-Riverhead.)
Also on the ballot today are judicial candidates for State Supreme Court. Six candidates for six seats on the state trial court bench in the 10th Judicial District have been cross-endorsed by the Democratic, Republican and Conservative parties. Two candidates, including Riverhead native Annette Totten, are running on the Libertarian line. See prior story.
Polls opened at 6 a.m. this morning and will close at 9 p.m. Find your polling place here.
For the first time ever, New Yorkers had a chance to participate in early voting over the past few weeks at polling places across each county. State elections officials said the statewide early voting turnout was just under 2%, with 17, 012 voters, or 1.6%, casting early ballots in Suffolk. The Suffolk County Board of Elections did not respond to a request for data on early voting turnout in Riverhead Town.
Total voter turnout in local election years in Riverhead has averaged just under 40% of all registered voters over the past decade.
Voter enrollment in Riverhead increased from 21,833 in 2017 to 24,051 in 2019, according to the New York State Board of Elections.
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