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Democrats party hearty on Election Night

It was a grand celebration at the Ram’s Head Inn Tuesday night as the Democrats swept two of their three candidates into office by solid margins while the third appears headed for reelection.

Shelter Island will get a new supervisor on Jan. 1 as Gerry Siller replaces Gary Gerth in the top seat.

Mike Bebon, a relative newcomer to elective politics, also won handily while incumbent Councilman Jim Colligan was leading by only 21 votes and hesitated to claim victory until the absentee ballots are in and counted.

But Party Chairwoman Heather Reylek declared that the absentee list had been actively worked and she was confident Mr. Colligan’s margin would grow when all ballots are counted.

Party Vice Chairman Alex Hu wasn’t shy about declaring the Siller-Bebon victory a “shellacking.”

Declaring himself never at a loss for words, Mr. Colligan was first to the microphone to congratulate his running mates, declaring that Mr. Siller will be “so much more on target and more involved.”

He said the combination of Mr. Siller, Mr. Bebon and Councilman Albert Dickson, who was elected on the Democratic ticket in 2017, would make for a dynamic team, adding that he would be delighted if his numbers hold up to return him to the Town Board.

He also praised Republican Councilwoman Amber Brach-Williams, elected in 2017, telling his party members that despite her Republican credentials, she has been a solid, engaged member of the Town Board with whom they can work successfully.

“We are going to do some great things,” he said.

Mr. Bebon was up next, saying he tried to explain to Ms. Reylek when she asked him to run for a Town Board seat that he was a “recovering introvert.” But he said he’s proud of the campaign he and the team ran, which avoided negativism.

“We need to get rid of the ‘us and them’ attitude because ‘us and them’ saps our energy,” he said.

He had a list of “thank yous” to family, friends, party members and even his grandchildren, who he said thought it was “great he’s running for something” even if they weren’t sure what that was.

“I am beyond excited,” Mr. Bebon said. “We are going to take care of lots of things, We’ve got to move forward.”

At the Republican gathering at the Legion Hall, Supervisor Gary Gerth, looking at the trending numbers going against him, said, “It’s been a good two years.”

Before Mr. Siller could take his turn at the microphone, he was interrupted by the arrival of Mr. Gerth, who was greeted with applause from the Democrats as he congratulated Mr. Siller.

Mr. Siller said he plans to “hit the ground running [because] there are some things that have to get going. We won’t wait until January.”