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County Race: 494 Absentee Ballots to Count

Close margin between Joseph Belesi and Eva Pearson race prompts recount.

The votes of nearly 500 absentee ballots and a recount will decide who represents the 14th district of the Nassau County Legislature, the Board of Elections confirmed Wednesday.

"I did expect this given the history of the seat," said Eva Pearson, the Democrat challenging Republican incumbent Joseph Belesi for the spot. "It has always been a close, tight race."

New York State Board of Elections spokesman Tom Connelly said a total of 799 absentee ballots were sent out in the 14th district, and 494 of those ballots have been submitted. He said that not all may have been received yet, since military ballots can be received up to 13 days after the election as long as the ballot is postmarked before Nov. 8.

"I'm feeling very confident going into the counting," Belesi said Wednesday. "This is the third time it has come down to absentee ballots for me and we've always been successful."

Belesi beat Pearson by just 51 votes in Tuesday's election, prompting the counting of these ballots and for Democratic Party chairman Jay Jacobs to call for a recanvassing of all voting machines. An advantage in the Legislature is at stake for the political parties, where Republicans currently have an 11-8 lead, pending the results of this race and the 18th district race between Republican Robert Germino Jr. and Democrat Delia DeRiggi-Whitton

"Now the eyes are on mine and Delia's races," Pearson said. "We are hoping both will turn our way so we can regain control of Legislature and we can proceed with the plans we've been making."

Belesi and Pearson are both Farmingdale residents. Belesi is a retired Nassau County Police Department supervisor who has represented the 14th Nassau County Legislative District since 2009 and Pearson is a newcomer and U.S. Air Force veteran.

"I didn’t expect it to be so close," Belesi said.

Nassau Democratic chair Jay Jacobs has said the winner of the 14th district seat may not come until Thanksgiving. The 14th district covers parts of East Massapequa, North Massapequa, Seaford, North Wantagh, Levittown, Old Bethpage, Bethpage, Plainedge, Farmingdale and South Farmingdale.

Who should win the seat? Tell us in the comments.

Mike Polansky November 10, 2011 at 12:08 PM
Joe Belesi is a kind and honorable man, who has proven time and time again to be a voice for conciliation and common sense in the Legislature. His re-election, along with that of similarly inclined legislators of both parties -- Judy Jacobs, Rose Marie Walker and David Denenberg come to mind immediately -- give us hope that reason will prevail and that the Legislature will pull togethr for the p=benefit of the people of Nassau during the next two years.

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