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Scalera Clinches; Bender Concedes

Unofficial results of absentee ballot count confirm Christine Preston Scalera's win over Brad Bender in the town council race.

Republican of Water Mill has won a seat on the town board, holding onto her election night lead throughout the counting of absentee ballots.

When regular ballots were counted on Nov. 8, Scalera was just 85 votes ahead of third place finisher , I-Northampton, leaving an opening for her victory to be overtaken in the four-way race for two seats. There were more than 800 absentee ballots yet to be counted, and, ultimately, the absentees bolstered Scalera's margin of victory.

“It's been a long road," Scalera said Monday night. "I’m very pleased and I’m very honored to have the opportunity to be able to serve the residents.”

“We wish Christine all the best,” Bender said, and Scalera had the same sentiment toward him.

Southampton Town Republican Committee Chairman Bill Wright and town Democratic Committee Chairman both said Monday night that Scalera was far enough ahead of Bender that her victory was assured, though the Suffolk County Board of Elections has yet to make a declaration.

Scalera is an assistant town attorney for Brookhaven, but she said she will wrap up her outstanding projects in December and resign so she can be a full-time councilwoman. “I want to immerse myself more in the community," she said of her choice, adding that she didn't want her work as a land-use attorney for Brookhaven Town to pose a conflict.

After her inauguration, Scalera will take the seat currently filled by Councilwoman Nancy Graboski, R-Bridgehampton, who was ineligible to run for re-election because of term limits. Councilwoman , D-Noyac, , securing re-election. Bill Hughes, R-Hampton Bays, finished behind Bender in fourth.

Robert L. Olson November 22, 2011 at 12:30 AM
I was supporting my friend Brad Bender and I am proud of his hard work and fine effort. It speaks to Brad's Integrity and his great class that he remained a gentleman to the end. I echo Brad in congratulating Christine. I am sure Christine will serve the town of Southampton very well.
Linda Kabot November 22, 2011 at 01:39 AM
Congratulations to Councilwoman-Elect Christine Scalera! Best wishes to all who have won the support of the people for elective office in Southampton Town and may you make sound decisions in the interest of good government!
ABetterWayforRiverhead November 22, 2011 at 06:00 AM
Congratulations to both Ms. Scalera and Mr. Bender though it is a shame that Mr. Bender could not muster the extra votes to win- the Flanders/Riverside/Northampton neighborhoods certainly would have benefited from his representation in Town Hall...
Joyce Flynn November 22, 2011 at 01:30 PM
Congratulations to all the candidates for a well-run race for Town Council and to Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst and Councilwomen Bridget Fleming and Christine Scalera for their achievement. I'm confident that in time Brad Bender will join them on the council to share his exceptional leadership and talents. I'm hopeful that Ms. Scalera will live up to her campaign words of being bipartisan on important issues and willing to work harmoniously with the entire town board.
nancy christie sander December 06, 2011 at 04:28 AM
I have not read/ heard the % turnout yet but In terms of absentee ballots alone it appears SH is still a town run by the people as well as for the people. Thank you to all people who volunteered in the election this year --well conducted! Thank you everyone who voted-!!- having taken the time to consider candidates seriously based on his/her experience and expertise. Thank you election night officials. Finally thank you all candidates for putting yourself forward. I too feel disappointed Brad Bender did not make it. I know Brad will continue to lend his talents and help to our community. I sincerely hope he will run again one day . We need his honesty, efficient work ethic, intelligence and perspective . A listener who works well with others and is a LEADER is rare! BEST TO YOU BRAD, you are a proven winner in my book! Nancy Christie Sander, Quiogue

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