New Voters Give Dems a boost in Suffolk?

updated 11-06

Democrats won key votes in Suffolk County on Tuesday. Voter registration campaigns may have had a roll as Democrats picked up voters and Republicans lost registrants.

In Suffolk County Barack Obama received 52% of the votes to John McCain's 47%. Seventy per cent of registered voters cast ballots.

Democrats Tim Bishop and Steve Israel were re-elected to represent the 1st and 2nd Congressional Districts by comfortable margins. Bishop was challenged by Lee Zeldin, an Iraq war vet who advocates continuing the war.

Democrat Brian Foley defeated Republican Caesar Trunzo by a comfortable margin to represent the third State Senate district. Foley is the Brookhaven Town Supervisor. Trunzo has served in
Albany for many terms.

In the race for Town Council in traditionally Republican Southampton Town, Democrat Sally Pope apparently defeated Republican incumbent Daniel Russo by a 52 to 48 per cent margin, although absentee ballots have not been counted, so this could change. Ms. Pope will become the 4th woman and the second Democrat on the Town Board. Russo had been appointed to fill a vacant seat when Republican Board member Linda Kabot was elected Supervisor last year.

Democrat Andrea Schiavoni was elected as a Town Justice easily defeating Republican Tom De Mayo.

A grass roots voter registration campaign on the east end and a shift in Party registrations may have contributed to the Democrats' success. Members of the Eastern LI NAACP, O.L.A and others registered hundreds of new voters in the final weeks of the campaign.

Members of the NAACP helped voters from Shinnecock to get to the polls. See

Lisa Votino-Tarrant, NAACP member and wife of a Shinnecock tribal member says

"The highest voter turnout on the Shinnecock Reservation was last November at 36%. Yesterday, approximately 70% cast their votes in-person and about 10% had sent in absentee ballots."
Voters registered as Democrats in Suffolk County are up 25,000 or about 10% compared with the last presidential election in 2004 while Republicans lost 14,000 or 4% since 2004. Democrats make up only 32% of the electorate while Republicans are 35% of the 877,000 registered voters with the balance not affiliated with either party.

Adapted from a report broadcast on WPKN Radio News heard 6:30 pm Mon-Friday on WPKN 89.5 FM Bridgeport / WPKM 88.7 FM Montauk.