The skintight race for the next Nassau County Executive got a little tighter over the weekend.
Republican Legis. Ed Mangano’s lead over Democratic incumbent Tom Suozzi has narrowed to 353 votes, with about half the outstanding 8,000 paper ballots still yet-to-be counted, according to the latest ballot figures from the county Board of Elections. Those updated numbers reflect the ballot tally at the end of counting on Saturday, Nov. 21.
Mangano led Suozzi by 554 votes following the count on Nov. 16.
Scores of Board of Elections employees, volunteers and attorneys for both candidates have been busy since the too-close-to-call Nov. 3 election, first re-verifying and recounting more than 245,000 votes cast through voting machines, then beginning the long, contentious count and verification of 8,000-plus absentee and affidavit paper ballots. Now in its second week, that count will ultimately determine who will serve as Nassau’s next top-elected official.
To date, 4,320 paper ballots have been tallied. Teams for both sides again sat opposite each other at tables inside Board of Elections’ Mineola headquarters Nov. 23 to continue the process.
Still outstanding are ballots in election districts that include: East Meadow, Salisbury, Roslyn, Plainview, Woodbury, Old Bethpage, Valley Stream, Rockville Centre, Baldwin, Lynbrook, Malverne, Franklin Square, Elmont, Floral Park, North Valley Stream and Glen Cove.
Glen Cove is considered a Suozzi stronghold historically, as it’s where the two-term county executive served consecutive terms as mayor and his cousin recently won re-election as such.
With the count suspended for the Thanksgiving holiday from Nov. 26 through Nov. 29 and about 500 challenged ballots to be decided by State Supreme Court Justice Edward McCarty so far, the tallying will continue past the county’s target date of Nov. 27, says Republican Board of Elections Commissioner John A. DeGrace.
The race for Nassau County Comptroller has also tightened, with the latest Board of Elections figures showing incumbent county Comptroller Howard Weitzman, a Democrat, trailing Republican challenger George Maragos by 675 votes as of Nov. 21. Weitzman had lagged Maragos by 1,019 votes following the first day of affidavit and absentee ballot counting on Nov. 16.