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Southampton Town Justice Karen Sartain will retain her seat on the bench after the counting of absentee ballots lifted her past her Republican challenger, Patrick Gunn, in vote totals.
Mailed-in ballots are still being counted at the Suffolk County Board of Elections, where coronavirus protocols and legal challenges have slowed the process, but Ms. Sartain, who was appointed to the town bench last year, holds a lead of some 1,400 votes, according to Southampton Town Democratic Party Chairman Gordon Herr.
Mr. Herr celebrated the win as a resounding endorsement of Ms. Sartain, whose name was on just one party line, while Mr. Gunn’s was on four.
Ms. Sartain had trailed Mr. Gunn by 355 votes following the count of ballots cast in person on Election Day and during early voting. But nearly half of the 6,400 absentee ballots cast by Southampon Town voters came from registered Democrats, compared to barely a quarter from registered Republicans and Conservatives.
“This has been a very long year on the bench and we’ve worked very hard so I am grateful that the voters of Southampton Town have trusted me to continue,” Ms. Sartain said on Wednesday. “I am happy to get to do this for another four years. I love it.”
Ms. Sartain said that she had communicated with Mr. Gunn, whom she called “a friend and a colleague” on Tuesday. She said it was … [more].