Democrat Andy Stewart will be the next Orangetown Town Supervisor.
Stewart surprised many observers with a narrow victory incumbent Republican Paul Whalen in the general election Tuesday night, winning 51.1 percent of the vote.
"It's a new day in Orangetown," Stewart said. "Honestly, it wasn't that big of a surprise. I conducted my own ShopRite poll, and the ShopRite poll was swinging in my direction. You really just don't know until all the votes are counted, though."
"It's fantastic," said Elijah Reichlin-Melnick of Stewart. "He ran a thoughtful campaign. I've gotten to know him much better than I already did and I've been totally impressed by his intellect, his grasp of the issues and his ability to walk into a room and take charge in his own way. He brings a fantastic, refereshing lack of politics to office."
Reichlin-Melnick and fellow Democrat Robert Dell came up short in their campaigns for the two open seats on the Orangetown Town Council. Those went to Republicans Paul Valentine and Tom Morr.
"I have to give a lot of credit to my running mates, Elijah and Robert," Stewart said. "They're both great people, but so are Paul and Tom and I'm looking forward to serving with them."
"Tom Morr is a very intelligent guy," Valentine said. "I think I will work well with him. We did sort of get the split, but not the one they expected. We have a new supervisor. I know Andy Stewart. I wasn't expecting him to win, but he is the winner and I will work very hard with Andy Stewart."
"It's a very strange election where you have two Republican candidates for town council win, but the sitting Supervisor loses," said Orangetown Councilman Denis Troy, who will be one of four Republicans on the board come January. The other thing that really strikes me is it looked to me like a low turnout in Orangetown."
"Am I surprised? Yeah, I'm surprised. I expected it to be close, but I am surprised that Paul lost."
Stewart won with 5,313 votes to Whalen's 5,068.
"It was a tough race," Whalen said. "We had 10,300 voters. That's 2,000 less than last time."
Orangetown Superintendent of Highways James Dean and Orangetown Town Clerk Charlotte Madigan both ran unopposed and retained their offices. Patrick J. Loftus, who was also unopposed, was voted in as a new Orangetown Town Justice.
Editor's Note: Adam Littman contributed to this report.