As the results started coming in Tuesday night, things began to look bleak for the Residents First party and mayoral candidate Elisabeth McGuire. The sense of which way the community came in early returns and it was a gap that Residents First was not able to overcome.
The party left its headquarters at 57 E. Main St. and headed for the where they were met with a standing ovation, although the election did not go as hoped.
The most talked about issue throughout the day - the that calls for 291-rental units to be built - was addressed by McGuire after she addressed the assembled crowd.
“I think there were a variety of factors that led to the voters' decision today,” she said. “I certainly respect the residents and their opinion and that’s what we’re all about so if the residents really believe that this project should move forward then they have spoken in this election. But I don’t think the election was just about that.
“I believe our opposition had a lot of money and a lot of political supports and I think we were fighting a machine. I don’t know that it was all about the Four Corners - that was a pivotal issue - but there are residents, a vast number of residents and business owners, that are opposing the project. We’re in the middle of and we will continue that litigation.”
Each candidate, as well as sitting trustee Gerard Crean who worked on the party's campaign, gave speeches thanking those closest to them as well as those who were instrumental to the campaign in a behind the scenes role.
Stephen McGiff, an incumbent trustee who lost his seat, spoke most sternly about the results of the election.
“At a time when someone had to stand up for our hometown Gerry and I stood up very publicly… It would have been an easier road to do nothing but like I said I got my name from my father and I give it to my children and I would never besmirch that name for anything, not for Paul Pontieri or Patchogue or anything,” he said.
In the end McGuire expressed a silver lining in the election, regardless of the result.
“I hope this election raised awareness,” she said. “I feel like if it hadn’t raised awareness the voters wouldn’t have shown up in such force and I’m really happy that we were able to bring all the issue to the forefront. Now hopefully the community will continue to speak and fight for what they believe in. If that’s what we accomplished than I really believe we succeeded.”