“As absentee vote-counting winds down, Democratic state Senate candidate Elijah Reichlin-Melnick and Assembly Republican hopeful Michael Lawler have won election in their respective races, elections officials said.
Lawler’s ousting of seven-term Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee means Democrats will lose a seat in the Assembly while still maintaining majority control of the lower house. Reichlin-Melnick succeeds a Democrat, David Carlucci, and his party will continue to hold the majority.
In other contests, the Rockland Board of Elections unofficial tallies show:
- In Suffern, the surge of absentee ballots propelled Deputy Mayor Steve Alpert and his fellow Democrat Fred Sauberman to victory to two-year terms. Alpert received 2,786 votes and Sauberman got 2,519 tallies. Their Republican opponents, former Trustee Frank Hagen and Andrew Zavoski, received 2,393 and 2.219 votes, respectively.
- For Rockland County clerk, Democrat Donna Gorman Silberman won a four-year term with 76,443 votes to 57,059 for Republican Patrick Carle.
- Clarkstown voters gave the thumbs up for the Palisades Center to seek permission to provide stores and other businesses on the mall’s vacant top floor. The vote was 25,563 to 18,662.
- In the presidential contest, Democrats Joseph Biden and Kamala Harris won the county on their way to winning New York state’s 29 electoral votes. They received 75,791 votes to 73,180 for President Trump and Vice President Pence.
Both Lawler and Reichlin-Melnick declared victory. Jaffee, a former Suffern trustee and county legislator, has conceded her tenure has ended. Weber, a certified public accountant, and civic activist, also conceded.
Reichlin-Melnick, 36, a Nyack village trustee, led Weber by 7,005 votes — 67,195 to 60,190 as of Thursday ballot-counting for the 38th District seat, according to unofficial tallies by the Board of Elections in Rockland and Westchester counties.
The district covers the towns of Ramapo, Orangetown and Ossining in Westchester County.
Reichlin-Melnick surged from more than 3,100 votes down from Election Day tallying as absentee votes provided the margin of victory. He won Rockland by 59,335 to 56,323 for Weber.
“Given the breakdown of absentees remaining, Elijah will be victorious,” Democratic Commissioner Kristen Zebrowski Stavisky said.
Reichlin-Melnick congratulated Weber on a hard-fought race, adding, “to everyone who voted for Bill, I will be your representative as well, and work to earn your support.”
Reichlin-Melnick had depended on absentee ballots to win June’s Democratic Party primary against Justin Sweet, the Clarkstown town clerk.
He succeeds 10-year senator Carlucci, who gave up the two-year seat for what became an unsuccessful bid for the Democratic nomination to replace Nita Lowey in Congress. Democrat Mondaire Jones of South Nyack and Spring Valley won the congressional seat.
Weber, a certified public accountant and activist, said the race likely marked his last run for elected office. He ran previously for Ramapo supervisor.
In a statement, Weber said his campaign gave voice to people who want to live in a state that’s “fiscally healthy, economically viable, well-governed,” as well as have fully funded education. safe streets, and pay taxes they can afford.
“I am going to hold my opponent accountable for his pledges to fully fund education, not raise taxes on the middle class, be fiscally responsible, and support our law enforcement,” Weber said.”
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