- Rich Klein
BREAKING: Incumbent Town Supervisors Seem Headed For Re-Election Except Mamakating's Lybolt
All the Town Supervisors in Sullivan County running for re-election tonight who had opponents appear to have won their races - with the exception of Town of Mamakating Supervisor Janet Lybolt, according to unofficial Board of Elections results.
Those in the driver's seat before absentee and affidavit ballots are counted include Democrats Bill Rieber (Thompson), Steve Vegliante (Fallsburg), Daniel Sturm (Bethel), Dan Hogue Jr. (Forestburgh) and Robert W. Eggleton (Rockland). Republican incumbents Christopher Matthews (Neversink) and Donald Jeff Haas (Highland) also won at the polls today but Haas holds a narrow lead over Democrat John M. Pizzolato.
Lybolt, a Democrat, appears to have lost to Republican/ Conservative Michael W. Robbins, who took 53.85 percent of the votes to Lybolt's 46.01 percent. Eileen H. Rogers, also a Democrat and deputy supervisor in Mamakating, was also ousted by John H. Rufer, Jr.. the Republican/Conservative challenger.
In Town of Thompson, Republican council member Scott Mace, who is facing two felonies and one misdemeanor, made a surprise showing in the supervisor race. He lost to Rieber, who was running on the Democrat and Conservative lines, by 76 votes. (Rieber posted to his Facebook page on Monday outlining his goals for the next four years if re-elected. He noted that much of the work of the board going forward will include water and sewer improvements since the systems were built in the 1950's through the 1970's).
In Fallsburg, 406 votes separate Vegliante and Katherine Jane Rappaport at the close of the polls on Tuesday. But one source who did not want to be identified told The SullivanTimes that there are close to 900 absentee ballots to be counted in that race. Rappaport had strong support from the Sullivan County Republican Committee and Sheriff Mike Schiff's "Team Schiff" Republican apparatus.
Meanwhile, the race for two council seats in Fallsburg appear to be won by Democrat incumbents Nathan Steingart and Michael Bensimon despite heavy Republican support for their opponents, Sean Wall-Carty, a Republican and Miranda Behan (Working Party).
But it appears likely that at least one town board, in Mamakating, will have more than one new face when all the votes are counted.
And Republican/Conservative William J. Crumley, a brother-in-law of Legislature Chair Rob Doherty, will likely be the newest member of Bethel's town board.
Absentee ballots are typically counted by the Sullivan County Board of Elections a few weeks after Election Day. At the same time, some candidates could file lawsuits before or after the counting is complete to challenge the validity of any number of ballots.
For example, State Senator Mike Martucci one year ago filed a lawsuit on Election Day night urging the court to prevent then-incumbent Jen Metzger from being declared the winner in the 42nd District. Three weeks later, Martucci had won the race after the absentee ballots were counted and Metzger conceded.
(THIS IS A DEVELOPING STORY)