Former Suffolk County Legislator Steve Stern beat Republican Janet Smitelli in a special election Tuesday night to fill the vacant 10th District State Assembly seat.
As of 11 p.m.,unofficial results at the Suffolk County Board of Election had Stern with 59.14 percent of the vote, while Smitelli had 40.83 percent.
The slot was left empty when then-Assemblyman Chad Lupinacci resigned Dec.31 after he was elected Huntington town supervisor. It had been held by the Republicans since 1978.
Stern served for 12 years in the Suffolk County Legislature but could not run again because of term limits.
During a celebration Tuesday night at Albert’s Mandarin Gourmet restaurant in Huntington led by Suffolk County Democratic Party chair Rich Schaffer, Stern took a congratulatory call from New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie.
Stern said he planned to enjoy a day off Wednesday and then will start talking with constituents about his new role.
This story will update as warranted.