Featured Story

ELECTION UPDATE: Historic Shelter Island vote — three women will serve together on Town Board

Election Day was 14 days ago, but it was left to the Suffolk County Board of Elections to count absentee ballots to decide close races for Town Council.

Unofficial results from the Suffolk County Board of Elections on Tuesday were that incumbent Supervisor Gerry Siller, a Democrat, and incumbent Councilwoman Amber Brach-Williams, a Republican, remained clear winners after the 237 absentee ballots were counted.

Mr. Siller ran unopposed, but a late write-in bid from former councilman Peter Reich garnered an impressive 421 votes.

The only change is that Democrat Barbara Jean (BJ) Ianfolla overcame a seven-vote deficit on Election Day to Republican Marcus Kaasik. In the final tally, Ms. Ianfolla totaled 732 votes to Mr. Kaasik’s 663. The two candidates were running to complete former councilman Mike Bebon’s remaining two years on the Board after his resignation last year.

Democrat Brett Surerus lost his bid to take a four-year Town Council seat to Republican Margaret (Meg) Larsen by just six votes after the absentee ballot counting. Shelter Island Democratic Committee Chairwoman Heather Reylek said there would be no request for a recount, since “there are two contested ballots, but it won’t change any results.”

Incumbent Town Clerk Republican Dorothy Ogar was reelected, defeating Democrat Kristina Martin Madjisova by 43 votes.

Superintendent of Highways Brian Sherman and Assessor Patricia Castoldi were reelected. Both candidates were endorsed by the major parties.

The election of 2021 was historic. Three women will serve together for the first time on the Town Board when they’re seated in January. Ms. Ogar, who has been in the town clerk’s office for 44 years, said this is a first in her experience.

Ms. Reylek congratulated her slate of candidates, but also congratulated the Republican winners. “We thank all the candidates and especially thank the officials and employees of the Board of Elections for a job well done,” Ms. Reylek said Tuesday evening.

Shelter Island Republican Chairman Gary Blados said, “I wish nothing but the best for all our elected Town Representatives. We were reminded, once again, that every vote matters on Shelter Island. Running for office can be challenging for the candidates, their families and the committees, so we owe everybody who put themselves on the line a great deal of gratitude.”

Mr. Blados noted that five women were elected to Town offices, calling it “historic. I’m confident that all of these women will continue their hard work. A new day as dawned for our Town Board. I’m looking forward to hearing and seeing a different perspective on our critical issues and would like to thank all of the candidates, their families, the volunteers and everybody who worked so hard on both sides of the aisle.”