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Nov 7, 2018 11:57 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

The Morning After Election Day, Schneiderman Not Ready To Concede Suffolk County Comptroller Race

Jay Schneiderman at Democratic Committee Headquarters in Hauppauge on Tuesday night. DANA SHAW
Nov 12, 2018 7:31 AM

Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said on Wednesday morning that he is not ready to concede the race for Suffolk County comptroller—although unofficial results from Tuesday show the incumbent, John M. Kennedy, ahead by 8,623 votes.

According to the Suffolk County Board of Elections website, Mr. Kennedy took in 246,690 votes on Election Day, or 50.88 percent of the vote, while Mr. Schneiderman collected 238,067 votes, or 49.11 percent.

Mr. Schneiderman, the Democratic candidate, said that with a pending recount and more than 30,000 absentee ballots yet to be counted, it was difficult to concede, although he allowed that he still might concede sometime on Wednesday.

“The odds were heavily against me,” Mr. Schneiderman said on Wednesday morning. “To come real close is a pretty good showing. To run countywide and to see how I would do, I think people, hopefully, were impressed by how close I came.”

Mr. Schneiderman formerly represented the East End on the Suffolk County Legislature, but he had never run for countywide office.

After seeing the unofficial results from the Board of Elections on Tuesday night, Mr. Kennedy declared victory.

“What a good night for Suffolk County and a good night for the citizens and a good night for the Republicans,” Mr. Kennedy said to a room full of Republicans at the Stereo Garden in Patchogue. “We did this campaign the old-school hard way, and that’s how we are going to keep saving money, and we will take this county back.”

On Wednesday morning, Mr. Kennedy admitted that the race had been closer than he expected, but he said it didn’t matter. “A win is a win, is a win,” he said. “I’ll take a win however it comes. I’m confident in the win.”

With victory almost in his pocket, with the exception of the 30,000 or so absentee ballots, Mr. Kennedy said he is ready to get back to work. “There’s much, much more that we have to do.”

Despite rumors that Mr. Kennedy is considering a run for county executive next year, he said he wants to focus on what he was elected to do as comptroller.

“It’s no surprise, I don’t agree with much of what Steve Bellone has done,” Mr. Kennedy said of the current county executive. “It’s not like this was a step in the process where the long-term goal was to end up as county executive. I’m happy with the fact that I got returned.”

But he added, “I’m not going to rule it out.”

As the results were being reported on Tuesday night, Mr. Schneiderman said he would be satisfied whether he won or lost, and his tone was pretty much the same on Wednesday morning.

In fact, as the election campaign went on, Mr. Schneiderman said, he began to realize how much people wanted him to stay on as supervisor instead of leaving to work for the county.

“So many people came up to me and said they were conflicted,” he said. “They wanted to support me but didn’t want me to leave as supervisor.”

He added that he really wanted to make a difference with the county’s spending and financial troubles, but he would have missed some of the perks of working for the Town of Southampton—like being able to walk to work.

Although he would not say if he plans to run for another county position in the future, Mr. Schneiderman said he plans to stay in Southampton for a little longer.

“I’m planning on running for reelection as supervisor,” he said. “Southampton is such a good place and I’m so honored to be its supervisor.”

Even so, Mr. Schneiderman said he is in the process of getting a breakdown of the absentee ballots and which party the voters are registered with.

“There’s a pretty good indicator that I may close the gap to about 5,000 votes … which is not enough to overcome his lead,” Mr. Schneiderman said of Mr. Kennedy.

On Wednesday, Suffolk County Board of Elections Commissioner Anita Katz said that the state automatically demands a 3 percent recount of votes by hand—or a recount of 3 percent of the ballots cast on Election Night—which the Board of Elections does.

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Bye bye Jay, go hug Cuomo some more.
By Preliator Lives (437), Obamavillie on Nov 7, 18 2:50 PM
Do one job well. Not two jobs half assed.
By jim (48), hampton bays on Nov 7, 18 3:17 PM
Go away and stay away. Go do photo ops
By bigblue84 (89), Hampton Bays on Nov 7, 18 4:13 PM
A true Democrat.
By HamptonDad (236), Hampton Bays on Nov 7, 18 4:22 PM
1 member liked this comment
Jay, unless you put in many absentee ballots, GIVE IT UP...
By knitter (1941), Southampton on Nov 7, 18 7:59 PM
1 member liked this comment
I can't believe that I now have more respect for Anna than Jay. At least she didn't run for Supervisor the year before she ran for Congress. Jay is just using the good people of the Town for his own benefit. Voters crossed party lines to get rid of him. If he runs next November, they will have a 2nd chance.
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Nov 7, 18 8:24 PM
Since he did better than expected countywide, don’t be surprised if he again changes parties and tries to run against Bellone.
By A Great American (103), East Quogue on Nov 7, 18 10:51 PM
Tried to get full election results from the Suffolk County elections site, but they are not there by Thurs morning.
By pat paulsen (7), southampton on Nov 8, 18 8:41 AM
Mixed feelings here. The County’s finances are in bad shape, and John Kennedy bears much of the responsibility as Comptroller. It would have been a good thing for Suffolk County if Jay Schneiderman had replaced him as Comptroller.

But for Southampton Town, this is a very good result. I don’t agree with all Jay’s decisions as Supervisor, indeed I’m profoundly disappointed with his vote for The Hills golf resort in East Quogue, but nothing is 100%. On balance, Jay ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Nov 8, 18 10:04 AM
Is Jay a CPA?
By auntof9 (159), Southampton on Nov 8, 18 12:09 PM
2 members liked this comment
NO, Certified Professional Politician...
By knitter (1941), Southampton on Nov 8, 18 12:29 PM
2 members liked this comment
To all politicians. Please pick up all your signs and banners.It's been two days. The SIGN pollution is terrible, you put them up, take them down, PLEASE...
By knitter (1941), Southampton on Nov 8, 18 1:04 PM
Turkey Bridge, I am a cPA and you are on the democratic committee. The Newsday endorsement for Kennedy hit the nail about Kennedy's qualifications. He is head and shoulders above Supervisor Schneiderman for this position. This was a name recognition/popularity contest/blue wave tight raise. How much was spent on this campaign? Jay;s robocall about not raising property taxes was a complete misrepresentation. Jay has raised taxes by millions since he has been supervisor and hiding behind the ...more
Nov 8, 18 3:37 PM appended by G.A.Lombardi
the double digit increase in property values.
By G.A.Lombardi (575), Hampton Bays on Nov 8, 18 3:37 PM
2 members liked this comment
should be tight race not raise.
By G.A.Lombardi (575), Hampton Bays on Nov 9, 18 9:08 AM
They think hillary won
They are “unconceding” in FL
Boxes of ballots found in closets
National riots ensue after they win the House
why should this sore loser be any different?

By even flow (1023), East Hampton on Nov 9, 18 7:39 AM
Even flow, what are you babbling about? Counting all ballots is not cheating. It’s called democracy in action.
By Fred s (3321), Southampton on Nov 16, 18 12:15 PM
That's what Democrats doe, try to steal elections.
By Walt (292), Southampton on Nov 16, 18 11:57 AM