Incumbent Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman has bested challenger Chris Nuzzi, earning Schneiderman his sixth and final term.
Unofficial election returns Tuesday night from the Suffolk County Board of Elections showed Schneiderman with 11,329 votes to Nuzzi’s 7,444. There are still absentee ballots to be counted, but not enough to sway the result.
Schneiderman, of Montauk, is a member of the Independence Party with the backing of the Democratic and Working Families parties. Nuzzi, of Westhampton Beach, is a Republican who also had the endorsement of the Conservative Party.
“It’s been a long hard race, but we got to talk about a lot of issues that are important to the region,” Schneiderman said in his victory speech to the Democratic crowd gathered at 230 Elm in Southampton Village. “By the numbers, I guess the voters got the message.”
When Schneiderman took the stage, he said Nuzzi called him to concede the race.
“I’m looking forward to two more years,’ Schneiderman said. “This is my last term, as most of you know, but it’s going to be a good one.”
As the senior member of the majority caucus, Schneiderman could possibly be elected by his colleagues as the presiding officer of the Legislature, a feat for an East Ender in a body that is dominated by western Suffolk members.
The Suffolk County Legislature limits members to 12 years, so the race will be wide open in 2015 when Schneiderman moves on.
In addition to being a legislator, Schneiderman owns a Montauk motel, The Breakers.