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UPDATED: Fate of Nassau Legislature Hangs on District 14

Democrats call for a recount after Belesi beat Pearson by less than .5 percent.

A recount of the race between incumbent Republican Joseph Belesi and Democratic challenger Eva Pearson will decide whether the Democrats take over the Nassau County Legislature.

Belesi beat Pearson by just 51 votes in Tuesday's election for the 14th district seat, prompting Democratic Party chairman Jay Jacobs to call for a recanvassing of all voting machines.

The 14th district covers parts of East Massapequa, North Massapequa, Seaford, North Wantagh, Levittown, Old Bethpage, Bethpage, Plainedge, Farmingdale and South Farmingdale.

Just before midnight, Belesi led Pearson 54 percent to 45 with 15 precincts counted. The margin steadily decreased and closed with Belesi at 50.21 percent and Pearson at 49.75 percent.

Belesi, R-Farmingdale, is a retired Nassau County Police Department supervisor who has represented the 14th Nassau County Legislative District since 2009. Pearson is a newcomer and U.S. Air Force veteran.

"We had anticipated this as a possibility from the beginning," Pearson said at 2 a.m. Wednesday. "We are still feeling hopeful about the Democrats regaining control of the Legislature after the recount."

Coming into Tuesday's election, Republicans held 11 seats in the County Legislature, giving them a three-vote majority over the Democrats. Of the 19 seats up for election, nine were claimed by Republicans, while nine were claimed by Democrats.

All vote tallies are unofficial. The recount will happen in the upcoming days.

Candidates Votes Percent Precincts Joseph Belesi 5,622 50.21
58 of 58 Eva Pearson 5,571 49.75
58 of 58

Additional reporting by Justin Izzo and Andrew Coen.

Mickey November 09, 2011 at 03:07 PM
He is 51 votes ahead, not 41... and why would you say it looks GRIM for BELESI??? He is curretly in the lead. Are the Dems greater absentee ballot voters than the GOP?
Diane Stephan November 09, 2011 at 03:25 PM
Yeah, there are a bunch in the backseat of someone's car.
John Rennhack November 09, 2011 at 03:33 PM
Belesi should be ahead more going into the recount. He has a lower margin than 2 years ago and he barely won then.
Robert M. Crocitto November 09, 2011 at 04:31 PM
Not final until all absentee ballots from both sides are counted! Rest assured, Joe will take the victory!
James M. November 09, 2011 at 06:52 PM
I love unsubstantiated optimism.
John Rennhack November 09, 2011 at 08:25 PM
400+ absentee to be counted plus provisional ballots if any. Belesi needs to do better than 50% of absentee to keep lead. 51 votes is not a safe lead historically in the 14th. Suozzi led Mangano by 237 votes going into the absentee count and lost by less than 400.
Mickey November 09, 2011 at 11:55 PM
Not so 'unsubstantiated'... he is already 51 up! We just have to wait and see... How long could it possibly take to count mail in votes? How many could there be? Guess maybe we have to wait for a TOTAL recount. Hope they can count fast!
Ken November 10, 2011 at 02:00 AM
Jay Jacobs called representative Schumer to request a search of local post offices for undelivered mail.
Mickey November 10, 2011 at 02:36 AM
Ah come on.... Down and OUT!!! Reeks of such desperation!
James M. November 10, 2011 at 06:24 PM
Ah come on ......shady and scared!!! Reeks of a Republican coverup!

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