OYSTER BAY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — The winner of Oyster Bay‘s town supervisor race is not likely to be known until late December.

Democratic political novice John Mangelli leads nine-term Republican John Venditto by just 68 votes. Both sides are preparing for protracted legal challenges over as many as 1,700 absentee ballots, WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs reported.

Experts blame the closeness of the contest on the scandal-ridden Venditto administration. A town concessionaire has been charged with bribery, and the planning and development commissioner has been charged with tax evasion. Both have pleaded not guilty.

“The residents of Oyster Bay said, ‘OK, enough’s enough now,'” Mangelli told 1010 WINS. “Corruption and cronyism and nepotism and pay to play — and there’s a lot of people that have problems with the way that Oyster Bay does business.”

“At the moment, it is too early to speculate about the outcome in the race for Town Supervisor, as the race is too close to call,” Venditto said in a statement. “It is most important to let the election process continue to unfold. However, I would like to thank all the Town residents, who not only supported me in this year’s campaign, but have over the many years I have been privileged to serve as Town Supervisor.”

The absentee ballot count will begin next week.


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