After a tense few days during which nearly 500 absentee ballots from the March 19 village election were counted and certified, incumbent Mayor Ed Fare and his United Community Party slate pulled far ahead of their challengers, officially securing them another term in office, and capping an election that saw a higher turnout than previous years.
“I’m very happy that we received 62 percent of the vote,” Mayor Ed Fare said in a statement. “I look forward to serving all the residents of Valley Stream for the next four years.”
Although machine tallies showed that Fare and his team had an average lead of roughly 400 votes over their Achieve Party challengers, victory for the UCP candidates was secured after more than 90 percent of the absentee ballots went in their favor.
The ballots, which the Nassau County Board of Elections counted and certified on March 25, once counted revealed the largest voter turnout in more than a decade for Valley Stream, with more than 3,000 votes cast compared to 2015’s 2,724 votes; 2011’s 2,652 votes; and 2007’s 1,624.
The incumbent team, which in addition to Fare, consisted of trustees Vincent Grasso and Dermond Thomas; as well as Village Justice Virginia Clavin-Higgins, had been challenged by the Achieve Party Mayoral candidate Anthony Bonelli; with trustee candidates Jed Kaplowitz and Cristobal Stewart; as well as Village Justice Candidate David Sparrow.
The United Community Party ran on a promise to continue to renovate village facilities and create a cultural arts hub at the former village court. Achieve Party candidates, meanwhile, said they would improve village finances, increase parking and implement regulations on high-density development.
“This election was about the challenges that face the village over the next four years,” said Deputy Mayor Vincent Grasso, adding that he was happy that the residents agreed that he and the other United Community Party candidates could meet those challenges.
Trustee Dermond Thomas and Village Justice Virginia Clavin-Higgins also said that they are grateful for the opportunity to continue to serve the residents of Valley Stream.