Spin Cycle

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A quiet election night at Nassau GOP headquarters

New York State Sen. Kemp Hannon chairs a

New York State Sen. Kemp Hannon chairs a hearing about New York's prescription drug abuse crisis. Hannon was expected to introduce a package of bills Monday designed to improve tracking of narcotic painkillers. (Feb. 13, 2012) (Credit: Newsday/Ted Phillips)

There was no Champagne, hors d’oeuvres or grandiose speeches Tuesday night at Nassau GOP headquarters on Post Avenue in Westbury where election night felt decidedly anti-political after superstorm Sandy left many in the county without power or a place to call home.

Lawmakers and district leaders stopped off at Republican headquarters — which only got its power back Tuesday morning — to drop off election results but few were in the mood to celebrate. Others, including candidates, their spouses and members of the media, were relegated to a waiting room near the front door.

Assemb. Thomas McKevitt (R-East Meadow), who won re-election, said he stopped campaigning after the storm. “Politics ended 9 days ago,” said McKevitt, whose home is still without power. “I spent every day working on getting power to my district.”

Sen. Kemp Hannon (R-Garden City), above, who appears to have squeaked out a tough re-election victory over Democrat Ryan Cronin, concurred. Hannon, whose home is also without power, said residents were more focused on getting electricity, gasoline and shelter than on politics.

“After the hurricane, we didn’t know what to expect,” he said.

Even GOP Party Chairman Joseph Mondello was subdued in his political enthusiasm.

In a sign of the times, Mondello, who also does not have power at his Oyster Bay home, did not formally address the small crowd of candidates, lawmakers and staffers gathered on the building’s first floor.

“Everyone is consumed with thoughts about power and gas problems,” he said. “These are very serious problems.”

By 1:15 a.m., the crowd dissipated and the chairman and his aides had closed up shop, bringing the night to a quiet end.

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