Democrat Steve Bellone stood on stage in front of hundreds of supporters in Hauppauge Tuesday night and declared victory in the Suffolk County Executive race over Republican Angie Carpenter by a 56 to 43 percent margin.
“For nearly a year now we have campaigned across this county…and because of that, because of your hard work, tonight the voters of Suffolk County have given us a huge victory,” said Bellone from the IBEW Local 25 Hall.
He will replace outgoing county executive Steve Levy, who earlier this year said he wouldn’t run for a third term.
“As disappointed as we might be by the results of tonight, we need to pull up our bootstraps and come together,” Carpenter said from the GOP camp at the nearby Sheraton Long Island Hotel in Hauppauge. “That young man has learned a lot” she said of Bellone.
The now outgoing Babylon supervisor and county executive-elect credited his win to getting his message across to voters of a “smaller more effective, efficient government.” Those in attendance erupted and threw their arms in the air as he took the podium.
“My pledge to you tonight is that we will take this mandate and do exactly what we promised to do,” he said. “We will make government more efficient, we will make it work so we can protect taxpayers in this county.”
Throughout the night, Bellone’s supporters cheered and clapped when his name ran across the giant screen displaying election results across Long Island.
Presiding Officer William Lindsay (D-Holbrook), who has butted heads with Levy in the past said the night was “wonderful” because he will have a “true Democrat as a county executive.” Lindsay won re-election on Tuesday night.
In his last two elections Bellone’s won more than 73 percent of the vote in the Town of Babylon. He ran on his record of cutting town taxes two consecutive years, and reducing the number of town employees by 24 percent since he became supervisor a decade ago. He also touted his “Wyandanch Rising” project and accountability in government.
Bellone said of the issues facing Suffolk County: “We will confront the fiscal challenges that we face by growing this economy, we will create jobs and opportunity. I believe that we have everything we need in this county to make Suffolk County an economic power house.”
He thanked all of his supporters and his wife Tracey, saying after the year-long campaign, “I know I have some family time to make up.”