UPDATE (Wednesday, 2 a.m.): As the nation returned President Obama to office for a second term in Tuesday's election, Sound Shore democrats celebrated Obama and their own victories around midnight.
State assembly candidate for District 91 Steve Otis, state senate candidate for District 37, George Latimer, and congressional candidate for District 16 Eliot Engel gave speeches with other Westchester democrats at the Coliseum in White Plains.
U.S. Rep. Nita Lowey, D-Harrison, was easily re-elected, turning away a challenge from Rye's Republican town supervisor, Joseph Carvin.
Democratic Assemblyman George Latimer defeated Republican Bob Cohen in a fairly close race for state Senate. Democrat Steve Otis also is the victor over Republican William Villanova.
"It is very exciting," said Otis. "I am looking forward to the opportunity to be partners with Sound Shore municipalities and the community in this new role."
About 150 supporters cheered, chanted and applauded their winning candidates. View photos and video above. View election results as of 2 a.m. Wednesday below.
Latimer Wins State Senate Seat
As supporters chanted "George, George, George," at a Democratic Party rally in White Plains, George Latimer declared victory in New York's 37th State Senate district just after midnight Wednesday.
The assemblyman thanked a room full of supporters in the Coliseum Night Club on S Broadway in White Plains.
"The people chose these seats," he said.
With 81 percent of district’s reporting, Latimer had received 55 percent of the vote to Republican Bob Cohen’s 45.
Latimer's victory keeps the 37th State Senate seat long held by Suzi Oppenheimer under Democratic control. Oppenheimer has occupied the seat since 1984. She did not run for re-election this year and will retire after completing her 14th term in December.
Bob Cohen (R) conceded the race at the Crown Plaza in White Plains, acknowledging that his campaign—and the campaigns of his fellow Republicans—fell short.
"But that's only part of the story," he said.
Cohen said Republicans needed to build up their party and reach out to conservative, independent and unaffiliated voters in Westchester County.
"We need to put forth the positions we espouse: Lower taxes, more effective government and an improved climate for business," he said. "We need to educate voters who tend to vote along party lines in a presidential election about these issues that matter."
Local races and results:
Rye City Council seat
7 Districts out of 14 reportingCandidates # of votes Percentage of vote Julia Killian, (R,C, IN) 1,986 100
--Proposition 1 # of yes votes
Percentage of vote#of no votes
Precentage of vote
Rye Free Reading Room Improvements
--Proposition 2 # of yes votes Percentage of vote #of no votes
Precentage of vote Road Improvements 389 50 391
U.S. House of Representatives, District 16
394 Districts out of 545 Reporting (72)%Candidates # of votes Percentage of vote Eliot Engel (D) 69,254 69 Joseph McLaughlin (R) 30,395
30 Joseph Diaferia (Green) 1,324 1
U.S. House of Representatives, District 17
291 Districts out of 354 Reporting (82)%Candidates # of votes Percentage of vote Nita Lowey 139,876 (80% of vote counted in Westchester)
Joe Carvin 75,736
Frank Morganthaler 2,164
New York State Assembly District 91
79 Districts out of 103 Reporting (76)%Candidates # of votes Percentage of vote Steve Otis (D) 18,161 65 William Villanova (R) 9,652 35
New York State Senate District 37
240 Districts out of 318 reporting
Posted 5 p.m.:
Large Voter Turn Out in Rye
About half of all registered voters in three Rye election districts had already cast their ballots at City Hall by 4 p.m. Tuesday. Out of the approximately 2,000 registered voters in that district, about 900 have already voted and election inspectors expect an influx after 5 p.m.
Voters were lined up at 6 a.m. to cast their ballots, according to the city clerk, Dawn Nodarse. About 20 people voted by affidavit, some were Con Edison workers and others were people displaced by Sandy, according to election inspectors.
“This is as good as it’s ever been,” said election inspector Charles Brody, who has been working the polls for 30 years. “In 2008 it was a little less,” Brody said.
When leaving the polls, 18-year-old Anna Skelsui excitedly asked a poll worker for an “I Voted” sticker, but there were none left at that polling place on Tuesday evening.
Skelsui, a Greenwich Academy student from Rye, said she was very excited to vote for the first time in her life.
“A mix of social, fiscal, economic issues are important for me,” Skelsui said.
Others said they voted according to the presidential candidates’ social views, despite how their economic plans would affect their lives.
Choong Mun said that Barack Obama’s plan would increase his taxes but that voted for the current president because he thinks Obama is better for the country, mostly for social issues.
“They are two very diametrically different views on where this country should head and it will determine the nature of America,” Mun said.
His wife Doris Mun also felt Obama is the better choice based on his health care plan.
“Health care should be a right,” she said.
Voter Mary Slater, who brought her nine-year-old son with her to check out how the ballot machines work, said reducing the size of national government was an issue important to her in this election. She also thought it was important to vote on the Rye City $1.8 million bond proposition.
Other voters agreed. One woman said she felt the Rye Reading Room should get what it needs and city roads need to be kept safe.
A young couple said they felt the bond should be supported as well.
“It is important to commit to the city and to infrastructure and development,” said Gerard Falcone, who had just voted with his wife Sarah and their five-month-old twins Leila and Will.
“As a woman I just have to get out and vote, especially with her,” Sarah said referring to Leila.
By 5 p.m., a steady stream of voters continued to arrive at the polls. Check back with Patch starting at 9 p.m. tonight when we will be posting the unofficial election results as they are reported.
Posted 4 p.m.:
Rye Brook Residents Turn Out to Vote
About 400 Rye Brook residents have steadily arrived at the Rye Brook High School polling location to cast their ballots so far this Election Day.
“A presidential election is always a much heavier turn out than just local elections,” said poll worker Jennifer Peters.
By 2 p.m. Tuesday, 260 out of 741 Town of Rye Election District 22 and 140 out of 390 Rye Town District 30 registered voters had already cast their ballots.
Eileen Kiyak, a 91-year-old resident, has never missed an election since 1939 when she was 18 years old.
“It is my duty,” Kiyak told Patch as she approached the school.
“I’ve been in business since 1948 with my hubby and now with my son. It is important to vote,” she said. Kiyak and her son John run the Port Chester Rug and Linoleum Company.
“The real reason she is here to vote is for Latimer and Carvin,” John Kiyak chimed in. As he said that another voter leaving the school yelled out in favor of Latimer, “yea, Latimer,” she said.
“That is bi-partisanship right there,” Kiyak said of his and his mother’s support of George Latimer, the democratic candidate for New York State Senator of District 37 and Joe Carvin, the Republican candidate for the House of Representatives, District 17.
The Kiyaks also emphasized how important it is to vote to honor the many military members who have lost their lives for our right to do so.
A few people who are in Rye because they were displaced by Sandy had visited the polls, and many brought their children to teach them about voting, said poll worker Patricia Anderson.
Lisa Levine brought her three-and-a-half year old daughter Hannah to show her how to vote.
“I am voting obviously to ensure my children a future that is one I’d be proud for them to grow up in,” Levine said. She and Hannah are Barack Obama supporters, she said.
Another democratic supporter, Richard Fusco, a 69-year-old retiree, said that he was there to “defeat Republicans.” The issues he is most concerned with are women’s rights, the Supreme Court, Social Security and Medicare, he said.
Another voter did not reveal who she was voting for but said that as a fairly new citizen, she wanted to exercise her right to vote.
“I want to pick my president,” said 15-year United State’s citizen originally from Iran, Nahid Jamashidian, through a translator.
As school let out around 2:20 p.m. the polls got a bit busier and people are still arriving to cast their ballots.