BEVERLEA WALZ PHOTO | Town Board incumbent Republicans Chris Lewis and Ed Brown at Sweet Tomato’s, shortly after hearing they had won new terms of office.
In an election marked by low turnout, Town Board incumbents Ed Brown and Chris Lewis, running on the Republican and Conservative tickets, cruised to victory Tuesday over Democrat Robert Reylek.
Ms. Lewis was the big winner with a total of 611 votes. That was more than Democrat incumbent Supervisor Jim Dougherty, running unopposed, who tallied 598 votes.
Final totals for Mr. Brown were 544 votes to Mr. Reylek’s 385.
A total of 850 ballots were cast out of 2,236 registered voters. Shelter Island Democratic Chairwoman Heather Reylek said after the votes were in that a good portion of her party’s base took the day off.
According to the Suffolk County Board of Elections, 196 absentee ballots were requested. Bob DeStefano Jr., Shelter Island GOP chairman, said as the polls closed there was no way his candidates’ margin of victory would shrink much after all absentee ballots were counted.
A little after 9 p.m. at the Shelter Island School polling place, Mr. Reylek said he had no regrets and offered congratulations to his opponents. He said he would be going to Sweet Tomato’s, the Republican’s election night headquarters, to personally wish Mr. Brown and Ms. Lewis well.
“I worked hard,” Mr. Reylek said, adding he couldn’t think of anything he would have done differently.
At Sweet Tomato’s, surrounded by supporters, Ms. Lewis, who has served 12 years on the Town Board, said she was “greatly relieved. In any election there’s always some concern. Bob Reylek is a worthy opponent and I couldn’t take anything for granted.”
Mr. Brown, who will be sworn in for his fourth term of office as a councilman in January, thanked his party chairman, Mr. DeStefano and Amber Williams, former chairwoman for the Island Republicans.
He was proud of the campaign all candidates had run. “It wasn’t contentious,” Mr. Brown said. “This was Shelter Island at its best.”
Incumbents Town Clerk Dorothy Ogar and Town Assessor Patricia Castoldi, running unopposed on the Republican and Conservative lines, received congratulations at Sweet Tomato’s from well-wishers.
About 30 Democrats crowded into Kyle’s to hear party Chairwoman Heather Reylek announce, “We have two winners tonight. Let’s think positive,” speaking of Mr. Dougherty’s victory along with Highway Superintendent Jay Card Jr., who also ran unopposed.
“Unfortunately, Bob did not win,” Ms. Reylek said of her husband. Even when the absentee ballots are counted, “There’s not enough of them to make a difference,” she said.
Mr. Dougherty called the Republican victory in the Town Board races “not surprising.”
He praised Mr. Reylek as a man of “so much character and so competent,” but said he’s penalized for being a “quiet guy. It’s the Island’s loss.”
“We’ll see,” was all Mr. Card said about running for another term after this one. Mr. Card threatened during budget negotiations not to seek a third term unless he got a substantial raise.
As for Mr. Dougherty, he said his decision to run again in two years would depend on what he accomplishes in this term.