Supe Race Comes Down To Absentees; Dems Grab Council Seats

Bill Wilkinson has slight lead over challenger Zachary Cohen, while Peter Van Scoyoc and Sylvia Overby secure two seats on town board.

East Hampton Town Supervisor Bill Wilkinson has won re-election at the polls, but with less than 200 votes separating him from candidate Zachary Cohen, the final call will be left to the absentee ballots.

Meanwhile Democrat candidates secured spots on the East Hampton Town Board.

The Suffolk County Board of Elections reported all 19 districts reporting in on Wednesday morning, though the numbers did not appear to have been updated from when only 17 districts had reported in. They show Wilkinson ahead 51.42 percent, having received 3,066 votes. Cohen had 48.45 percent of the vote, or 2,889 votes.

"This is the second election in two years where absentee ballots are critical," said East Hampton Republican Committee chairwoman Trace Duryea.

From , Cohen said he expected a close race, but he didn’t expect it to be as close as it was. The absentee ballots, he said, would have to be counted as they come in over the next week, but it could take longer if other towns require recounts.

The Republican and Democrats' numbers when it comes to the absentees differ slightly, based on when they last checked with the Board of Elections. It seems that between 700 to 800 absentee ballots have been returned so far out of approximately 1,050 that had been requested. All absentee ballots, except for those from members of the military, had to be returned by Tuesday night at 9 p.m., when the polls closed.

"I know it's not over until it's over," Wilkinson told the large crowd at Republican headquarters at , adding that he was encouraged so far.

According to unofficial numbers furnished by Cohen, the night’s final tally had Wilkinson with 3,007 votes and Cohen with 2,886. The Republicans meanwhile had numbers that showed Wilkinson ahead with 3,217 to 2,942.

The scheduled festivities for the Democrats didn’t really get rolling at Rowdy Hall  until shortly after 11 p.m. on Tuesday, when Van Scoyoc and Overby locked in seats on the town board.

The board of elections showed Van Scoyoc coming out on top with 2,689 votes, or 23.69 percent, and Overby with 2,475 votes, or 21.43 percent.

Van Scoyac said, it was an "unusual race, anything could have happened," as there were six candidates up for two council seats.

"I'm elated," Overby said. Speaking of the Democrats campaign, she said, "The message was about quality of life and community character, and it rang true with the electorate."

Cohen said, “I think we did a fabulous job,” recalling that members of his own party suggested he save the money and not run back in August. “We showed the policies we put forth matched what the people in the town wanted and needed."

For the two , there was sheer disappointment. Bill Mott, who seemed to have a groundswell of support, received about 13.9 percent of the vote and came in fifth, behind Republicans respectively. "I thought it would be a lot closer," he said.

Marilyn Behan was nearly in tears at the party's headquarters at . Having come in last with about 11.5 percent of the vote, she said she was proud of her campaign.

Name Party Percent Votes Bill Wilkinson  R 51.42 3066 Zachary Cohen  D 48.45 2889

*7 votes for write in candidate(s)

East Hampton Town Council 

Name Party Percent Votes Sylvia Overby  D 21.43
Steve S. Gaines  R 14.74
William J. Mott  I 13.94
Peter K. Van Scoyoc  D 23.29 2,689
Richard A. Haeg  R 15.05
Marilyn Jane Behan  I 11.52

With reporting by

Carole Campolo November 12, 2011 at 10:14 PM
Sorry if you guys take criticism and opposing views from your own as insults. That is very unfortunate. And as you say Todd, if that is the case than you are right, no reason to debate any of this any longer.
MARTIN DREW November 12, 2011 at 11:15 PM
Ms Campolo ; are you sure you know the definition of liberty? I pose the question VAL disappeared on ... Do you Support our local desire to ride ATV & OHV VEHICLES : in a dedicated site; as the trails system (300 miles) has been hijacked by outsiders ( EHTPS) . I feel Mr Wilkinson could use a lesson on the definition too. He doesn't care about local families ; people who desire liberty and freedom in their lifestyle choices. Discrimination is NOT LEADERSHIP ; what says you? Defender of the Wilky regime?
MARTIN DREW November 13, 2011 at 09:25 PM
Bruce Colbath November 14, 2011 at 03:43 AM
My wife and I have not been coming out here the last 27 years to pick up the paper to see screaming letters aimed not at opposing candidates, but citizens of East Hampton. Wilkinson has collected and paraded a bunch of junkyard dogs around town who have polluted the airwaves with condescension and vitriol -- the trouble is they have alienated their voters -- not a very good idea, even for those who claim years of experience in government. The Wilkinson gang just doesn't get it; if he has any sense he would send the junkyard dogs packing and turn over a new leaf -- if he gets the chance.
MARTIN DREW November 14, 2011 at 04:06 AM
Ms. Campolo ; ..... ??? Cat got your toungue?


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