Nassau Republicans retained control of the 19-member county legislature, fending off a challenge from the county Democratic Party, as all incumbent lawmakers beat back their challengers late Tuesday night.
Nassau County Democrats had focused on flipping seats held by Legis. C. William Gaylor III (R-Lynbrook) in the 6th District, and Legis. Steven Rhoads (R-Bellmore) in the 19th District, in a bid to reclaim the majority. Democrats lost control of the legislature after the 2009 elections. Republicans have an 11-8 seat majority and Democrats needed to win two seats to take legislative control.
But Gaylor and Rhoads successfully defended their seats.
In the 6th District, Democrats ran young adult author and gun control activist Laura Burns, who lost to Gaylor. Democrats ran Jill Levine in the 19th District, but was defeated by Rhoads. Levine and her husband formed a foundation named after their son Robbie, 9, who died of cardiac arrest in 2005 while running the bases at a Little League practice.
County Executive Laura Curran’s reassessment of more than 385,000 residential properties loomed large in this year’s legislative races.
Republicans had focused on the reassessment, criticizing the rollout in news conferences and during public hearings for more than a year. Curran has tussled with the Republican-controlled legislature. Last month, Curran vetoed a Republican package of six bills, called the “Assessment Bill of Rights,” requiring live operators to be on hand to answer assessment department phones and the county assessor to live in Nassau.
Curran has called the Republican majority a frustrating obstacle to her administration and blamed GOP lawmakers for stalling her bill to phase in the reassessment tax burden over five years. Republicans said the bill, introduced April 30, can be passed next year.
Presiding Officer Richard Nicolello (R-New Hyde Park), said “people appreciate that we’ve been actively working on their behalf and focusing on the pocket book issues that are the most important to residents, especially in local elections.”
He said, “the number one concern of our residents [is] the high tax burden,” and issues with the reassessment rollout help “to highlight that issue.”
Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams (D-Freeport) said, “The people of Nassau County have spoken. We plan to work with the majority. We trust that the majority will work with the County Executive for her vision for the upcoming year, and hopefully [Republicans] will be able to put their obstructionist views to the side and be able to focus on what’s best for the taxpayers of the county.”
1st District Incumbent Democrat Kevan M. Abrahams, the minority leader, defeated Republican candidate Cherice P. Vanderhall
2nd District Incumbent Democrat Siela A. Bynoe defeated Republican candidate Gerilyn S. Wright
3rd District Incumbent Democrat Carrié Solages defeated Republican candidate Nathan Wein
4th District Incumbent Denise Ford, a Democrat who caucuses with Republicans, defeated Democratic candidate Jeffrey P. Saxon
5th District Incumbent Democrat Debra S. Mulé defeated Republican candidate Daniel A. Salamone
6th District Incumbent Republican C. William Gaylor III defeated Democratic candidate Laura J. Burns
7th District Incumbent Republican Howard J. Kopel defeated Democratic candidate Debra Siegel
8th District Incumbent Republican Vincent T. Muscarella defeated Democratic candidate Barbara J. Hafner
9th District Incumbent Republican Richard J. Nicolello, the presiding officer, defeated Democratic candidate Mal S. Nathan
10th District Incumbent Democrat Ellen W. Birnbaum defeated Republican candidate Helene Sherman
11th District Incumbent Democrat Delia M. DeRiggi-Whitton defeated Republican candidate James M. Greenberg and Libertarian candidate Blay Tarnoff
12th District Incumbent Republican James D. Kennedy defeated Democratic candidate Michael S. Pesce
13th District Incumbent Republican Thomas McKevitt defeated Democratic candidate Jennifer S. Rosenkrantz and Libertarian candidate Jake Gutowitz
14th District Incumbent Republican Laura M. Schaefer defeated Democratic candidate Michael J. Maloney
15th District Incumbent Republican John Ferretti defeated Democratic candidate Frances A. Avnet and Libertarian candidate Jonathan Gunther
16th District Incumbent Democrat Arnold W. Drucker defeated Republican candidate Jennifer L. Garber
17th District Incumbent Republican Rose Marie Walker defeated Democratic candidate Allen F. Foley
18th District Joshua Alexander Lafazan, who is not registered with a political party but caucuses with Democrats, defeated Republican candidate Timothy Jenks
19th District Incumbent Republican Steven D. Rhoads defeated Democratic candidate Jill L. Levine