Nassau Republicans maintain 12-7 control of the county Legislature

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Nassau Republicans maintain 12-7 control of the county Legislature
Nassau County Legislator Mazi Melesa Pilip celebrates winning re-election Tuesday night. (Photo by Karina Kovac)

Nassau County Republicans maintained its 12-7 majority in the Legislature, flipping one seat and losing another Tuesday night. 

Democrat incumbent Josh Lafazan lost to Republican challenger Samantha Goetz to represent the county’s 18th Legislative District, which includes Albertson, East Hills, Herricks, part of Roslyn Heights, Searingtown and Williston Park following this year’s redistricting.

Goetz, of Locust Valley, thanked her supporters Tuesday night at the Coral House in Baldwin and said she won because “we support our police, our law and order, and we held the line on taxes.”

A lively crowd in Baldwin grew even more so shortly before 11:30 p.m. Tuesday night when Nassau Republican Chair Joe Cairo was joined on stage by candidates and elected officials. 

Cairo announced win after win through different county races until shortly after midnight, another strong result for Republicans after a red wave in Nassau in 2021. 

“100 years from now they’ll be talking about the Cairo dynasty,” Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman said to the crowd. 

Republicans now hold control of both of Long Island’s county executive seats, county Legislatures, both district attorney’s offices and all four of its congressional seats.

In Nassau, Republicans maintained majorities in the Towns of Hempstead and Oyster Bay and will flip North Hempstead if Republican challenger Edward Scott maintains his 128-vote lead against Democrat incumbent Peter Zuckerman after absentee ballots are counted. 

District 8 Republican incumbent John Giuffré defeated Democrat challenger Erica Rico by a margin of 74% to 26%. 

Ex-Mineola Mayor Scott Strauss beat Democrat Neeraj Kumar by a margin of 65% to 35% to represent the county’s 9th District, which includes Bellerose, Bellerose Terrace, East Williston, Floral Park, Garden City Park, Mineola, New Hyde Park and part of both Roslyn Heights and North New Hyde Park.

Strauss is replacing longtime County Rep. Rich Nicolello, of New Hyde Park, the presiding officer in the county who did not seek re-election this year. 

“I’m thrilled with the results and am looking forward to serving the people of the 9th Legislative District,” Strauss said to Blank Slate Media. “I am humbled by the amount of support our team received. I want to thank Presiding Officer Rich Nicolello for his many many years of service. He’s been a great leader and I’m honored to be able to call him a friend.”

District 10 Republican incumbent Mazi Melesa Pilip was re-elected to a second two-year term, defeating Democrat challenge Weihua Yan by a margin of 60% to 40$. 

Pilip thanked Cairo for his hard work on behalf of the party and her Great Neck team that helped her get the win. Pilip, who immigrated to Israel in 1991 and served in the Israeli Defense Forces, dedicated her win to Israel. 

District 11 incumbent Delia DeRiggi-Whitton won her re-election bid against Republican challenger John Stalzer by a margin of 64% to 36% and District 16 incumbent Arnold Drucker, a Democrat, won his re-election bid against Republican challenger James Asmus by a margin of 55% to 45%.

District 5 Democrat Debra Mule was elected to serve the county’s 6th Legislative Districting after being redistricted out of her current seat, which was kept in Democrat control by Seth Koslow. 

Nassau County Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs said the Tuesday night election was a “status quo election” with losses and gains throughout the county that maintained a close resemblance to its partisanship prior to the election.

“I’m very happy to congratulate the Democratic candidates who won tonight,” Jacobs said from the Garden City Hotel. “And of course a special congratulations to two of our new legislators just elected.” 

The two new Democratic legislators elected Tuesday night are Scott Davis of District 1 and Seth Koslow of District 5.

Jacobs said that voter turnout was “exceedingly low” this year, attributing it to being an “odd-year election.” He said this was prevalent across the state and was not unique to Long Island.

“The lesson is this: it is incumbent upon us to seek to it that we get a system where we can run elections, like these, that are important elections that have important races in even years when the voters are of a mindset to come out and vote,” Jacobs said. “We need voters who are going to pay attention to the issues. We need voters who are going to feel engaged in an election.”

Despite losing some seats throughout the county and maintaining a similar partisanship control, Jacobs congratulated the Democratic Party and contributors on their efforts in this election.

“I want to thank all of you,” Jacobs said. “Who went out, knocked on doors, made phone calls, stood at the train stations … draw out the vote as you always do.”

All 19 Nassau County legislators serve part-time on two-year terms and are paid $84,370 annually.

 

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Brandon Duffy is a New Jersey-based reporter for The Island 360, a position he assumed in July of 2021. He covers news out of Floral Park, New Hyde Park, the Willistons and Mineola, previously reporting on business and elections.
Cameryn Oakes is Blank Slate Media's Brooklyn-based reporter who covers the Great Neck, Manhasset and Port Washington areas. She hails from Sacramento, California and previously reported at The Stockton Record as a summer intern. Cameryn graduated from California Polytechnic State University with two bachelor's degrees in journalism and political science. She served as the managing editor of her university's student newspaper, The Mustang News, which was named as the best college newspaper in California under her supervision.

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