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Friday, December 6, 2019

Top Stories > Politics

Republican majority holds as absentee ballots counted

Nov 21, 2019

By Isabel Braverman - staff writer

SULLIVAN — After the election was held on November 5, a few local races were still too close to call. Absentee ballots were counted beginning on Tuesday and have now all been entered.
The Board of Elections will finalize the votes on November 29.
As reported after Election Day, Republicans expanded their control of the Sullivan County Legislature to a decisive 7-2 majority.
Two county legislative districts were extremely close. In District 7, Republican incumbent Joseph Perrello was ahead of Democrat Gene Benson by ten votes.
After absentee ballots were counted, Perrello still took the lead. With the numbers still coming in, Perrello had expanded his lead by at least 40 votes.
“I'm glad the way the election turned out with the absentee ballots. It shows that the people had confidence in the direction that we were moving the county—good policies, putting politics to the side and working with everybody as a group,” Perrello said.
In District 9 Republican incumbent Alan Sorensen was ahead of Democrat George Nikolados by 19 votes. The outcome didn't change after absentee ballots, and Sorensen took the win.
“I'm very happy with the result and grateful to my constituents for continuing to give me the opportunity to serve them,” Sorensen said. He will be beginning his fourth term, making him the longest serving member still serving on the legislature.
In a surprising turn of events, while incumbent Republican Luis Alvarez (Chair of the Legislature) beat Democrat Miranda Behan by 107 votes in the District 6 race, after absentee ballots came in, Alvarez won by ten votes.
“I'm very happy that I got reelected. The last four years without a doubt in my mind this county has moved forward under this body of legislators. I'm looking forward to the next four years; there are a lot of things we have to do,” Alvarez said.
The two remaining Democrats on the board are District 8 Legislator Ira Steingart and District 2 Nadia Rajsz. Rajsz ran on both the Democrat and Republican Party lines.
In town-wide races, Tusten incumbent Democrat Brandi Merolla won back her seat on the town council after only seven votes separated her and Republican Bernard Lohmann before absentee ballots.
“I want to thank the Tusten voters. I love this town and look forward to four more years of service,” Merolla said.

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