Written by Rachel Shapiro Friday, 04 December 2009 00:00
After weeks of recounting votes and challenging findings from the Nov. 3 election, Joseph Belesi has been declared the winner in the 14th Legislative District.
Democratic incumbent Legislator Dave Mejias conceded to Republican contender Belesi on Monday, Nov. 30, and Belesi will take his seat in the County Legislature in January.
Belesi, a retired Nassau County Police sergeant from Farmingdale, said in an interview “I’m very excited, it’s a new phase in my life and I can’t wait to roll up my sleeves and get to work.”
The unofficial final tally put Belesi ahead of Mejias by a 168-vote margin, a number too large to make the 20 paper ballots that were not counted a point of contest.
“ [Legislator] Dave [Mejias] and I had a conversation, he called to congratulate me and wish me well,” Belesi said. “He was very helpful and said if I need a hand to give him a call and he’ll help me out.”
Mejias said in an interview, “The community always comes first, I will do anything I can to help anyone I can, especially Joe Belesi.”
“I dedicated a lot of my life to the job and now I can get back to my law practice,” Mejias said. “It’s been a tremendous honor to represent the community I grew up in. I’m very thankful for that, it was a blessing to meet all the people I met.”
With Democrats Mejias and Jeffrey Toback of Oceanside losing their races, the Republicans will hold a 10-8 majority in the Legislature.
“It was a spirited campaign and we have to move forward, I have a job to do,” Belesi said. “I just hope to serve the people of Nassau County starting in January.”