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Long IslandNassau

GOP hopes to keep control of Nassau legislature

Nassau County Republican Committee Chairman Joseph Mondello speaks

Nassau County Republican Committee Chairman Joseph Mondello speaks with News12 at Mirelle's Restaurant as Republicans await election results, Nov. 3, 2015. Photo Credit: Johnny Milano

Republicans maintained control of the Nassau legislature Tuesday, fending off a Democratic election challenge to their majority.

Republicans again will hold 12 of the 19 legislative seats, giving the party a firm edge on most issues, but still one vote short of the 13-vote supermajority needed to approve borrowing or overturn a county executive veto.

Democrats had hoped to flip at least three seats to win a 10-member Democratic majority but were unable to disrupt the status quo.

"Elections always come down to pocketbook issues," Nassau Republican chairman Joseph Mondello said. "Nassau voters know that when the Democrats were in charge they increased spending and raised taxes. The Republican record is very different. Republicans cut spending, downsized the county workforce and kept taxes stable. Those are some very compelling reasons to vote Republican this year and every year."

Nassau Democratic chairman Jay Jacobs had hoped that voters would issue "a very tough verdict" against Republicans because of corruption charges against State Sen. Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) and in Oyster Bay Town.

But county voters supported their incumbents of both parties and replaced a retiring Republican legislator with another Republican.

Helping to maintain the legislature's status quo is a redistricting map approved by the Republican majority in March 2013 that gives the advantage to the current incumbents of each party: For the most part, Republican legislators have thousands more Republican voters in their districts than Democrats. Democratic incumbent legislators have thousands more registered Democrats in their districts than Republicans.

District 6, being vacated by veteran Legis. Fran Becker (R-Lynbook), who is retiring after 20 years in office, is the closest statistically to being a fair fight district. Republicans outnumber Democrats by 1,413. Some 11,000 voters are not registered in any party, but that district, which includes Lynbook and Malverne, has always voted heavily Republican in the past and did it again yesterday. Republican C. William Gaylor of Lynbrook defeated Democrat James Paymar of Rockville Centre.

Democrats targeted Presiding Officer Norma Gonsalves (R-East Meadow) in District 13, running optician Eileen Napolitano, 53, of East Meadow against the 81-year-old incumbent. Gonsalves has won close races in the past in the district where Republicans have a nearly 4,000-vote advantage over Democrats. Gonsalves won re-election again Tuesday.

In District 18, which includes Oyster Bay Cove and Muttontown, Democrat Dean Hart, ran hard against first-time Legis. Donald MacKenzie (R-Oyster Bay). Hart has stressed corruption in Republican-controlled Oyster Bay Town, where a town commissioner has been charged with tax evasion for allegedly failing to report $2 million in payments from a town vendor. Also, a town park concessionaire has been indicted on a charge of allegedly bribing a town official, but MacKenzie still claimed victory.

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