Democrat Steve Bellone has won the Suffolk County Executive job, beating Republican Angie Carpenter with 56 percent of the vote in Tuesday's election.
Standing at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 25 in Hauppauge, Bellone touched on a theme of togetherness in his victory speech. He was joined by family, friends and future Democratic colleagues in the Suffolk Legislature.
The 42-year-old said he planned to work with Suffolk county residents, with the Suffolk County Legislature and with Carpenter, the sitting Suffolk County treasurer.
“I am confident we will overcome the challenges we face, and do it together. I am thrilled that the voters of Suffolk County returned [Presiding Officer] Bill Lindsey to office,” he said, to much applause. Lindsey defeated challenger Anthony Musumeci with 54 percent of the vote, and Democrats retained a 12-person caucus in the 18-seat legislature.
“I am looking forward to working with all of you to create a more prosperous future for our families."
Carpenter, on Tuesday, at the Sheraton in Hauppauge with County Republicans, and congratulated Bellone and her own supporters for "fighting the good fight."
"We made [Democrats] talk about real issues," she said. "The Republican party will be stronger than it ever was because we have had people come out, get involved, who we never ever involved on politics before, and that's a tribute."
Had Carpenter won, she would have been the first woman county executive in the history of Suffolk County.
County Republicans as the names of Congressional hopeful Randy Altschuler, state Assemblyman Michael Fitzpatrick, state Sen. John Flanagan and even former congressman Rick Lazio were bandied about as potential GOP county exec candidates. Bellone, long considered the top Democratic candidate to lead the ticket, .
Elected supervisor of Babylon 10 years ago, Bellone ran on his record in streamlining government operations in his town and offered voters a plan to . Carpenter has served as county treasurer since 2005 following 12 years in the County Legislature. She ran on a platform of making government more business-friendly to spur private job creation.
Bellone steps into a fiscal situation that the entire sitting legislature agrees is tumultuous. Several have said the 2012 budget overestimates revenues and understates expenditures, though his proposals, which include calling for health care contributions from union workers.
The county executive seat was left vacant after an investigation into Levy's campaign fundraising forced him to forgo another run and turn over his $4 million war chest to the district attorney.