Councilwoman Jodi Giglio appears to have held off incumbent Supervisor Sean Walter in the race for the Riverhead Republican nomination for supervisor — though ballots still remain to be counted. After being named the party pick in May, Ms. Giglio holds a 29-vote lead over the three-term supervisor, 1,085 to 1,056.
Because Mr. Walter has the Conservative nomination, he has said he will still run for supervisor if he loses the GOP line — and, with at least 110 absentee ballots yet to be counted, has yet to concede the Republican race — so it appears that both could face off against the Democratic candidate for supervisor, Anthony Coates, in November.
“It was a tough race,” said Ms. Giglo at Digger’s Ales & Eats, where she was located with the Riverhead Republican Committee. “I’m happy to say tonight that I am on top.”
“For Sean Walter,” she continued, “I’ll say he ran a good campaign. The votes were close. I congratulate him on the campaign he ran.”
As for the supervisor, meeting in front of about 20 supporters at downtown’s Mazi restaurant — the former Athens Grill — he said the race was “destined for a recount” because of how close it stands.
“Obviously I would like to be up by 29 votes at this point but that’s not in the cards … I think this will go to a recount because it is so close. This is clearly not a mandate for Ms. Giglio. This is pretty much what we have seen the whole time through with the Republican Party.”
The Republican Commissioner with the Suffolk County Board of Elections, Nick LaLota, said on Friday afternoon that the absentee ballots will be counted on Monday, Sept. 21 at the earliest.
The BOE will wait for absentee ballots — which needed to be mailed out on or before Sept. 9 — through Sept. 17. Counting of ballots, which includes both absentee and at least 52 affidavit ballots, will begin the following Monday at the earliest.
In the race for town council, Tim Hubbard and Jim Wooten beat out Robert Peeker. Mr. Hubbard took the most votes, with 1,561. Mr. Wooten followed with 1,154 and Mr. Peeker last with 1,065.
“I have so much love for the town and for the people here,” Mr. Wooten said. “The people need a voice in town hall.”
Mr. Hubbard and Mr. Peeker both said they enjoyed campaigning together and described it as a “great experience.”
“We’ve worked together for 30 years, but I didn’t get to know him as well until now,” Mr. Hubbard said about campaigning with Mr. Peeker. “It’s bittersweet.”
“I’m happy for Tim,” Mr. Peeker said. “He won across the board. The people have spoken.”
There are three primaries taking place for town justice: under the Republican, Conservative and Independence lines.
The vacancy for one of Riverhead’s two part-time town justice seats comes after longtime Town Justice Richard Ehlers decided not to run again. The winner of November’s race will share the bench with Town Justice Allen Smith.
The race for the Conservative nomination will include all three candidates; Republican voters will choose between Mr. Kozakiewicz and Ms. Hulse. The Independence nod will be up for grabs between Ms. Hulse and Ms. Costello.
In the Republican race, Ms. Hulse defeated Mr. Kozakiewicz for the Republican nomination, earning 1,247 to Mr. Kozakiewicz’s 864 votes.
Ms. Hulse also earned the Independence line, getting 100 votes to Ms. Costello’s 26. She also won the Conservative nomination, with 52 votes. Ms. Kozakiewicz took in 37 votes, while Ms. Costello took 22.
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Reporting by Jen Nuzzo, Tim Gannon, Chris Lisinski and Nicole Smith