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.