Talk about every vote counting

Tim Tenke wins Glen Cove's mayor race by just three ballots


Tim Tenke, 55, a Glen Cove Democratic city councilman, has been declared the victor in the Glen Cove mayoral race. He beat incumbent Reggie Spinello, an Independence Party member who also ran on the Republican line, by just three votes.

“I am humbled by how this came out and pleased that the Board of Elections took the time and did it the right way, in a bipartisan effort,” said Tenke, an attorney. “All the votes were counted, and everyone had a say in this election.”

Democrat Marsha Silverman, 46, a financial analyst, won a seat on the City Council. Absentee ballots confirmed her victory over Republican Matthew Connolly. In the final count, Silverman had 2,426 votes, to Connolly’s 2,403.

“They were looking at the absentee ballots before” Wednesday, said Nassau County Board of Elections Commissioner David Gugerty. “But her lead of 23 votes was not contested.”

Tenke was down by 21 votes on election night. After Board of Election workers counted the 310 affidavit and absentee ballots, he was still behind, by 13 votes. Then, on Tuesday, Nassau County Supreme Court Justice Jeffrey Brown went to Board of Elections headquarters in Mineola to review 64 absentee ballots that had been deemed questionable. After he finished, Brown announced that Tenke was ahead by three votes, and ordered the Board of Elections to double-check its numbers on Wednesday. By noon, Gugerty had confirmed that Tenke’s lead had not changed.

“It’s like I always say,” Gugerty said, “every vote counts, and every absentee ballot counts, too.”

Tenke said he was not discouraged at any time during the process, even when it appeared that he might lose. “I was optimistic when I heard that there were 64 ballots that were being contested,” he said. “I’m not surprised that I won.”

He characterized a rumor that he didn’t really want the job of mayor as “ridiculous,” saying it couldn’t have been further from the truth. “I wouldn’t have put my family through the last eight to nine months of this,” he said. “Who would go through all of this if they didn’t want the job?”

Silverman will be the only Democrat on the City Council. She said she looked forward to serving the city, and repeated her campaign promise. “I will serve everyone’s best interest to my fullest capabilities,” she said. “I’m satisfied that all the absentee ballots were counted and citizens’ voices were heard. Democracy occurred in this race.”

Tenke, who will be inaugurated on Jan. 1, said he looked forward to getting started. “Under my leadership, Glen Cove will benefit in a lot of ways,” he said. “The projects and issues going on in the city will be addressed, and adequate solutions will be sought to solve problems. There will be some personnel changes that will take place, too, as I find replacements who will do a better job.”