Update: With 96 percent of districts reporting, Wendy Long won with 51 percent of the vote, Bob Turner received 36 percent, and George Maragos received 13 percent.
WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. – Winning about 52 percent of the vote with 74 percent of precincts reporting, Manhattan attorney Wendy Long beat U.S. Rep. Bob Turner and Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos for the Republican nomination to challenge U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) in the November election.
Long received more than 50,000 votes in Tuesday's primary, according to unofficial published results. Turner (R-Queens) took about 35 percent of the vote and Maragos about 11 percent, according to unofficial results. New York State Board of Elections officials say the results will not become official until all county reports are received in the next two weeks.
Turner, who was elected to the House of Representatives from the 9th Congressional District in September 2011, won the vote in Westchester, receiving about 50 percent of the ballots with 82 percent of districts reporting, according to unofficial results posted by the Westchester County Board of Elections.
Long previously held positions working with U.S. Sen. Gordon Humphrey in New Hampshire and U.S. Sen. William Armstrong of Colorado, and worked as a law clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. She is a member of presidential candidate Mitt Romney's Justice Advisory Committee, teaches Roman Catholic religious education classes in New York City and is a member of the New York City Parks Mounted Auxiliary Unit, according to her campaign website.
About 6,000 registered Republicans in Westchester voted Tuesday out of about 132,000 registered in the county, according to Board of Elections officials. More than 11,000 Westchester Republicans voted in the GOP presidential primary in April. Several poll workers in Westchester said Tuesday that the turnout was far lower than what they have seen in recent years, but it did not come as a surprise.
“This is a special election and we’ve never had an extra primary like this, so we had no idea how it was going to be,” said Rita Vettoretti, a poll worker in North Castle who has worked elections for 30 years. Vettoretti said many voters expressed confusion with the primary dates. “Really I’m surprised there were this many that came out,” she said.
Ossining poll worker Sal Farruggio, who has worked elections for four years, said many residents were unfamiliar with the candidates.
“It hasn’t just been light, it’s been extremely light,” he said. “I think what happens is people think they already went to the primary because of the presidential one in April. So they don’t bother to learn the new candidates and don’t even think of it. I don’t know why they didn’t put them together or space them out.”
Peter Tripodi, vice chair of the Ossining Republican Party, said he was discouraged with the low turnout but also not surprised.
“It’s attributable to the debacle of changing the primary date with redistricting,” Tripodi said. “The judges manipulated the democratic process. We only had a couple of weeks to get the signatures on the ballot instead of months out. It’s making the challengers have to run around and the incumbents sit pretty.”