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Longest Serving Mayor In NYS History Wins Re-Election

Clarence Michalis, 91, Held Off 23-Year-Old Challenger For Lattingtown, LI Mayor
Lattingtown Mayor Clarence Michalis. (credit: Newsday/Audrey C. Tiernan - used with permission)

Lattingtown Mayor Clarence Michalis. (credit: Newsday/Audrey C. Tiernan – used with permission)

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LATTINGTOWN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – New York State’s longest-serving mayor held off a challenge and kept his seat in a small village on Long Island.

It was a battle between 91-year old incumbent Clarence Michalis and 23-year old recent college grad Nicholas Della Fera in the race for mayor of Lattingtown.

Michalis has served as mayor of the village near Locust Valley for 44 years – nearly half his life.

But for the first time in four decades, Michalis faced an opponent in his re-election bid and turnout was high as a result.

“It’s simple and very human – I’m delighted,” Michalis told WCBS 880′s Sophia Hall. “It was a simple case of age and experience trumping youthful zeal.”

Michalis received 376 votes to Della Fera’s 87 votes in Tuesday’s election for the volunteer job.

The incumbent said his challenger, a pharmaceutical sales rep, went about it the wrong way and is not surprised he won by a landslide.

“Starting at the top rather than working his way up,” said Michalis. “He’s not a registered voter, not a property owner and never voted in the village election and never attended a village meeting and never come to a budget session, all of which are open to the public. There was not one iota of information which leads you to believe that he knew what running a community is all about.”

Della Fera said he was happy residents came out to vote.

“Within the first 20, 30 minutes, we were able to break the average voter turnout for the last five years,” Della Fera told Hall. “I’m just looking to really get involved and really giving back.”

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