Leslie Fastenberg leads Andrew Weinberg following runoff, but Old Westbury trustee race still undecided

An Old Westbury village trustee reportedly trails his challenger by 249 votes following an initial runoff election Tuesday, but 268 absentee ballots still await count. 

Leslie Fastenberg, who earlier ran as part of a late write-in campaign, received 461 votes, while incumbent Trustee Andrew Weinberg had 212 votes, according to a Newsday report

An additional 260 absentee ballots were still to be counted before the Nassau County Board of Elections, and eight additional absentee votes were declared preserved by a state Supreme Court judge after being delivered less than 10 days prior to the runoff, according to the report.

Phone messages to the village went unreturned, as did an email to Fastenberg. Efforts to reach Weinberg were unavailing.

Fastenberg ran on the New Voice For Old Westbury line alongside Marina Chimerine and Cory Baker, who unseated incumbent trustees Harvey Simpson and Christopher Sauvigne, respectively, in an under-the-radar campaign promoted on Facebook.

A post on the New Voice For Old Westbury Facebook page Tuesday night said there were 249 absentee ballots and eight still pending.

“Our opponents will not go gently. This could take weeks,” the post said. 

“Hang in there friends. It looks good for us, but let’s let the process play out and will [sic] keep you all posted,” the post said.

Baker was elected to a four-year term, while Chimerine will serve for one year in completing the term of Sauvigne, who was appointed to the board last year.

The winner of Weinberg and Fastenberg’s race will serve a four-year term.

Weinberg initially defeated Fastenberg by three votes in the village’s June 16 election, but Fastenberg filed for a recount with the Nassau County Board of Elections after she said she was informed that several voters faced difficulty in casting ballots.

Upon various recounts, Nassau County Supreme Court Justice Arthur Diamond ruled in early August that Weinberg and Fastenberg were tied and that the election board would be given jurisdiction in deciding a winner.

Diamond also determined that the village should not have accepted a July 17 oath of office filing by Weinberg, because the race’s outcome was still being reviewed.

Weinberg’s representatives had argued that the court did not have jurisdiction because he had already taken office and began participating as a member of the village board, which held its first public meeting following the election on July 20.

Baker and Chimerine did not participate in the July 20 meeting, though they have been recognized as trustees on the village’s website and official communications.

Weinberg had been represented in court by Garden City attorney Steve Schlesinger, a partner at the firm Jaspan Schlesinger LLP who heads its litigation and appellate practice groups.

Fastenberg’s attorneys are Steve Martir and Ken Gray of the Mineola firm Bee Ready Fishbein Hatter & Donovan LLP. 

During the campaign, the New Voice of Old Westbury candidates emphasized the need for improved communication in seeking election.

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Bill San Antonio

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