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Ex-Freeport Mayor Andrew Hardwick loses; Hempstead Village incumbents win

Former Freeport Mayor Andrew Hardwick failed in his attempt to rejoin village politics, Hempstead Village voters re-elected incumbents, and Baxter Estates residents wrote in a new mayor.

Baxter Estates Trustee Nora Haagenson was chosen as mayor Wednesday in a write-in race in which no one had placed their names on the ballot for the post in the North Shore village.

Haagenson ran a soft campaign when no candidates emerged, and Mayor Fred Nicholson again failed to put his name on the ballot.

Baxter Estates was among a handful of elections decided Wednesday night in a year with eight contested village races and an Amityville referendum on expanded pension benefits for firefighters, which passed.

Haagenson was also re-elected as trustee, along with Charles Comer. Haagenson must decline the trustee seat to become mayor.

In Freeport, Jorge Martinez and Debra S. Mule prevailed over five other candidates — including Hardwick — to fill two seats on the board of trustees, according to unofficial numbers.

Martinez and Mule will join the board as the village deals with developing North Main Street and improving its infrastructure.

Hardwick, a Democrat, came in third, the village clerk said. He had been a divisive figure in Freeport, who lost his bid for a second term as mayor in 2013 to his former running mate and current Mayor Robert Kennedy. As mayor, Hardwick was criticized for using a village employee as a driver, using the village robocall system to criticize Kennedy, and for security measures that included carrying a gun at Village Hall, and expensive upgrades including panic buttons at his home and office.

In Hempstead Village, incumbents Don L. Ryan and Perry M. Pettus were re-elected on the Unity Party line for two trustee seats with 1,001 and 796 votes, respectively. The pair will help grapple with the village's $2.5 billion project to revitalize its downtown, along with challenges in the school district.

Ryan said it was "a grand feeling" to be re-elected. He and Pettus said they are committed to working with the community.

Pettus is focused on redevelopment of North Main Street. "I know there are some people who don't want to see all of these apartment buildings built in Hempstead," he said.

"I'm going to do whatever it takes to see that the community is happy with whatever decisions that we make with this development."

Ryan and Pettus were challenged by six other candidates, including Hempstead school board president Lamont Johnson.

In Stewart Manor, incumbents Mary Carole Schafenberg and William Grogan were re-elected to the village's board of trustees. Schafenberg received 191 votes, while Grogan brought in 222.

Old Field Village incumbents Jeffrey S. Owen and Stephen W. Shybunko were both re-elected to two trustee seats. Owen, of the Three Trees party, received 87 votes. Shybunko, of the Lighthouse party, received 99 votes.

In Great Neck Plaza, incumbents Gerald Schneiderman and Lawrence Katz were re-elected with 286 votes and 331 votes, respectively. Both candidates ran on the United Residents Party Line and will serve two-year terms as trustees.

In Valley Stream, Mayor Edwin Fare was re-elected as were incumbent trustees Vincent Grasso and Dermond Thomas.

Voters in Amityville passed a referendum 427-265 to expand a pension-like benefit for the village's firefighters. The proposal will credit eligible firefighters 62 or older $20 a month for each year of service up to 40 years.

In Mastic Beach, trustee Maura Spery was elected mayor. Anne Snyder and Christopher Anderson won trustee spots.

In Greenport, trustee George Hubbard Jr. was elected mayor.

Doug Roberts and Jack Martilotta were elected trustees.

With Lauren R. Harrison and Scott Eidler

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