As the American people anxiously awaited word Wednesday of who their next president would be, North Shore residents were also uncertain about who certain of their local elected leaders would be — in particular, who the next Congress member would be to represent the 3rd District.
Thousands of absentee ballots remained uncounted because they could not be opened until seven days after the election.
As of Wednesday, there were 48,097 absentee ballots in Nassau County and 23,846 in Suffolk County outstanding. Northeast Queens, which U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi represents, had 13,947 absentee ballots. The registration of the ballots was 51 percent Democratic, 17 percent Republican and 32 percent blank.
Suozzi and State Sen. Jim Gaughran, both Democrats, lagged behind in their races.
“As we await the final tally of all votes, we are confident of Congressman Tom Suozzi’s victory,” said Suozzi’s senior adviser, Kim Devlin. “It is clear that Tom will win re-election by a substantial margin. Democrats hold a 3-1 advantage in the nearly 90,000 absentee votes yet to be counted, and we expect Tom’s margin of victory to be over 20,000 votes."
Gaughran’s advisers and staff also said they were hopeful. “There are nearly 30,000 absentee votes, the majority of which appear to be from Democrats,” Marissa Espinoza, Gaughran’s spokeswoman, said. “It is vital that every vote be counted. I’m confident that this full count will favor Senator Gaughran.”
Edmund Smyth said he was optimistic that he would maintain his lead over Gaughran after the absentee votes were counted. "Last night showed voters across Long Island agreed change was needed to bring common sense to Albany," he said. "We built a solid cushion of roughly 10,000 votes going into the opening of absentee ballots, and I am confident that, when all votes are counted, we will be successful."
Democratic Assemblyman Charles Lavine and Republican incumbent Assemblyman Michael Montesano were clear victors on election night.
Lavine said he was grateful to his constituents who voted, whether they supported him or not. Entering his ninth term in the Assembly, he said this election was like no other, noting it was the first time the state offered three ways to elect representatives, including early voting, absentee voting and Election Day voting, and it would take some time to count absentee ballots.
"I will continue to work hard to protect voting rights and to address the budgetary crisis that results from the Covid pandemic,” Lavine said, “and at the same time, I will also strive to continue to represent the best interests of our constituents and others who reach out to our office for personal assistance."
Montasano said, “It’s a great feeling to be [re-elected], to know that I have the support of my constituents and that they were happy with the work that I’ve been doing for them. They decided to give me an opportunity to go back and continue to do work and serve them. As I always said, my position is, I work for these people, and every two years they evaluate me, and if they think I’m doing a good job, they renew my contract and send me back to work.”
3rd Congressional District
Thomas Suozzi (D) — 49%
George Santos (R) — 51%
5th State Senate District
James Gaughran (D) — 44%
Edmund Smyth (R) — 56%
13 State Assembly District
Charles Lavine (D) — 57.8%
Andrew Monteleone (R) — 42.2%
15th Assembly District
Michael Montesano (R) — 61.2%
Joseph Sackman III (D) — 38.8%