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Long IslandPolitics

GOP retains slim majority in Nassau Legislature

Kaitlyn Toscano posts returns at the Republican election

Kaitlyn Toscano posts returns at the Republican election night party at Mirelle's in Westbury on Nov. 7, 2017. Credit: Thomas A. Ferrara / Thomas A. Ferrara

Democrats needed to flip three seats Tuesday to take control of the 19-member Nassau County Legislature, which has had a Republican majority since 2010.

But early returns indicated that Democrats were only likely to turn only one North Shore district, electing a young Syosset school board member to the county legislature.

Democrat Joshua Lafazan, 23 of Woodbury, ran an energetic campaign, assisted by youthful volunteers, in Nassau’s western North Shore 18th District where Republicans have a 5,000 vote enrollment edge. Lafazan was challenging two-term Republican incumbent Donald MacKenzie, 47, of Oyster Bay.

Lafazan made waves when he was elected to the Syosset School Board at 18, and was re-elected in 2015. He campaigned this year on providing a “fresh voice” for Nassau.

MacKenzie, an attorney in private practice, had credited Republican policies for saving taxpayer dollars and boosting Nassau’s economy.

The parties were also watching Nassau’s South Shore 19th District, where Republicans have a 5,500 enrollment edge. But incumbent Republican Steve Rhoads, 48 of Bellmore defeated Democrat Jeff Gold, 55, of Bellmore.

Rhoads, an attorney in private practice and a volunteer firefighter, said he has opposed tax and fee increases while voting to strengthen county ethics policies.

There was no incumbent in central Nassau’s 13th District, which has a 3,400 Republican voting edge, after presiding officer Norma Gonsalves (R-East Meadow) decided against running for re-election. Republican Thomas McKevitt, 46 of East Meadow was leading Democrat Eileen Napolitano, 55, of East Meadow. McKevitt, an attorney, is a sitting member of the state Assembly. Napolitano works part-time as a licensed optician and is active in the community.

Incumbents won in the other districts:

1st District: Incumbent Democrat Kevan Abrahams, 43, of Freeport, the legislature’s minority leader, defeated Republican Charlene Thompson, 51, of Baldwin.

2nd District: Incumbent Democrat Siela Bynoe, 50, of Westbury beat Republican James Lamarre, 41, of Lakeview.

3rd District: Incumbent Democrat Carrie Solages, 38, of Elmont defeated Republican Paul Sapienza, 65, of Elmont. Solages faces domestic violence misdemeanor charges.

4th District: Incumbent Denise Ford, 66, of Long Beach, a Democrat who caucuses with Republicans, won against Democrat Jane Fisher, 58, of Long Beach.

5th District: Democrat Debra Mule, 55, of Freeport, defeated Republican Kathleen Spatz, 65, of South Hempstead. There is no incumbent.

6th District: Incumbent Republican William Gaylor, 54, of Lynbrook, was leading Democrat Dino Amoroso, 60, of Lynbrook.

7th District: Incumbent Republican Howard Kope, 66, of Lawrence, won against Democrat Karen Blitz, 59, of Rockville Centre.

8th District: Incumbent Republican Vincent Muscarella, 63, of West Hempstead defeated Democrat Carl Gerrato, 50, of Franklin Square.

9th District: Incumbent Republican Richard Nicolello, 57, of New Hyde Park won against Democrat Mal Nathan, 54, of Williston Park.

10th District: Incumbent Democrat Ellen Birnbaum, 62, of Great Neck defeated Republican David Adhami, 33, of Great Neck.

11th District: Incumbent Democrat Delia DeRiggi-Whitton, 49, of Glen Cove, beat Zefy Christopoulos, 62, of Glen Cove, who was running on the Republican line.

12th District: Incumbent Republican James Kennedy, 45, of Massapequa, won against Democrat Alexander Melton, 22, of Farmingdale.

14th District: Incumbent Republican Laura Schaefer, 49, of Westbury, defeated Democrat Robert Pena, 24, of Garden City.

15th District: Republican John Ferretti II, 34, of Levittown, won against Democrat Michael Sheridan, 53 of Levittown. There is no incumbent.

16th District: Incumbent Democrat Arnold Drucker, 60, of Plainview, defeated Republican Angel Cepeda, 56 of Plainview.

17th District: Incumbent Republican Rose Marie Walker, 66 of Hicksville, won against Democrat Ramandeep Arora, 41, of Hicksville.

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