Sean Walter leads Republican sweep for Riverhead Town Board

11/08/2011 10:45 PM |

VERA CHINESE PHOTO | Sean Walter gets prepped for his Ch. 12 interview.

Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter handily defeated Democratic challenger Phil Cardinale and Riverhead First party candidate Greg Fischer on Election Day, according to unofficial county Board of Elections results.

With results from all of Riverhead’s 22 election districts in by about 10:45 p.m., Mr. Walter earned 4,664 votes, or 62.08 percent of the total votes; Mr. Cardinale tallied 2,630 votes, or 35.01 percent, and Mr. Fischer had 211 votes, or 2.8 percent.

Seven people, or .09 percent of voters wrote in their own candidates.

“If you look at what the Democrats did,” Mr. Walter told party members after it was apparent he won Tuesday night. “If you look at what the civics did. … throwing mud, stealing signs. You realize, the negative doesn’t work. That delivered the victory.”

Councilmen George Gabrielsen and James Wooten also earned re-election and spoke some words of thanks to those gathered at the Republican campaign headquarters on East Main Street.

In their at-large race between five opponents seeking two four-year terms, Mr. Gabrielsen was the lead vote-getter with 4,996, followed by Mr. Wooten with 4,702, and then the Democrats’ Marlando Williams with 2,249 and Matt Van Glad with 2,129. Riverhead First candidate Ruth Pollack tallied 206 votes, and 12 people wrote in their own candidate names.

Incumbent Republican assessors Paul Leszczynski and Mason Haas, as well as Republican incumbents Judge Richard Ehlers and receiver of taxes Maryann Wowak Heilbrunn, also won re-election. Diane Wilhelm, the incumbent town clerk who went unopposed, was the Democrats’ lone winner.

At the end of Mr. Walter’s victory speech, he said an Italian restaurant is in the works for the empty East Main Street storefront the Republicans used for the night’s festivities. He said that brings the total number of new small businesses coming soon to downtown Riverhead to four.

While former supervisor Mr. Cardinale, who lost in a narrow election to Mr. Walter in 2009, did not make any public concession phone call, he told his supporters at the Democratic campaign headquarters in Jamesport that “the people have spoken, and I congratulate my opponent for winning.

“I thank the people for letting me serve six years as Supervisor.

Then, he vowed, “We have new voices emerging within the Democratic party, and in two years the results are going to be different.”

Reporting by News-Review staff writers Tim Gannon and Vera Chinese.

Check back at and pick up the Nov. 10 newspaper for complete Election Day coverage.