Hundreds of Suffolk County Republicans packed The Emporium in Patchogue Tuesday night to cheer on their candidates, with many keeping a watchful eye on the Congressional race between Democrat incumbent Tim Bishop and his GOP challenger Randy Altschuler, and of course, the race for the White House.
Two hours after the event kicked off the first cheers came during the “National Anthem” but it wasn’t late until Suffolk County Republican Chairman John Jay LaValle took the stage and announced that Ed Romaine was elected as Brookhaven Town Supervisor that the election night excitement really kicked in.
“This victory is not mine, this victory is for everyone that knocked on doors, licked an envelope, made a contribution, stood at a shopping center—this is your victory,” said Romaine, who with 205 of 295 districts reporting was beating his Democratic challenger Brian Beedenbender by 15 percentage points.
Romaine thanked voters for going out to vote despite the devastation following Superstorm Sandy and power outages that continue to leave more than 150,000 LIPA customers without power.
Romaine vowed to spend his first day as Brookhaven Supervisor-elect to get the Long Island Power Authority to power up homes and businesses in the town.
“We will get the lights on,” he promised.
The crowd also let out an exuberant burst when LaValle reported to the partisan crowd that Republican Phil Boyle was holding off his Democratic opponent, Rick Montano, by nearly 10 percentage points with all but 30 districts reporting in that hotly-contested New York State Senate race.
“We want to win the presidential race there’s no question about that…but it’s important what we do here locally,” LaValle said.
If it wasn’t for the presidential election, the race for the 1st Congressional District between Bishop and Altschuler would be the main event of the evening for many Suffolk residents.
“We got to get rid of the no-good congressman that’s there now,” said 40-year-old Kevin Gorman, referring to Bishop.
Other spectators thought Altschuler’s business background would give him the leg up in the Congressional battle.
“He’s a businessman and we need a businessman to take over the state,” said Ray Bressingham of Holtsville.
Leaning over a wooden rail and glancing over at the two screens displaying election results was 70-year-old Ken Dolan, secretary of the Smithtown Conservative Committee.
The country needs to put a “halt to the tax-and-spend mentality,” he said, adding, elected officials should also put a “stop to the huge deficit that’s mounting.”
As they watched the close election results in the presidential race both men admitted they were concerned that President Barack Obama would be re-elected.
But it was early, and the music—and steady flow of drinks—seemed to keep everybody at ease.
Trays of pre-made coffee were being passed around the venue to keep everyone awake for what LaValle promised to be a long night here in Patchogue.
“I think we’re going to be here a little while,” LaValle said.