Former Mineola Mayor Strauss to run for Nicolello’s seat on Nassau legislature

Former Mineola Mayor Strauss to run for Nicolello’s seat on Nassau legislature
Mineola Mayor Scott Strauss said Mill Creek Residential has played an "integral part" in driving new residents into Mineola. (Photo courtesy of Mill Creek Residential)

Former Mineola Mayor Scott Strauss is seeking the seat held by outgoing Presiding Officer Rich Nicolello on the Nassau County Legislature, according to filings from the Nassau County Board of Elections.

Strauss, Northwell’s vice president of corporate security, is running on the Republican and Conservative lines against Democrat Neeraj Kumar. The winner will take control of the 9th Legislative District, currently held by Nicolello, who announced he would not be running for re-election earlier this year.

The 9th Legislative District includes New Hyde Park, Garden City Park, Mineola, Williston Park, Albertson, Roslyn Estates, Munsey Park and Plandome.

Strauss served four terms as Mineola’s mayor after first being elected to the position in 2010. He also held the reins in the village during the COVID-19 pandemic and other infrastructure achievements while minimally raising taxes on residents.

Throughout Strauss’s time, he has overseen part of the implementation of Mineola’s master plan, which began in 2004. 

Park renovations, downtown streetscapes, paving, recently opened parking and four transit-oriented mixed-use buildings are among the improvements made to the village’s business district.

Immediate efforts to reach Strauss for comment were unavailing.

Former Great Neck Library President Weihua Yan is running on the Democratic line against incumbent 10th District Legislator Mazi Melesa Pilip.

Other incumbent legislators seeking re-election include Democrats Siela Bynoe, Carrie Solages, Debra Mule, Delia DeRiggi Whitton, Arnold Drucker and Josh Lafazan. Lafazan is also running for the state’s 3rd Congressional District’s 2024 election.

Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams (D-Freeport) announced last month he would not be running for re-election to the Legislature. Democrat Scott Davis and Republican Michael Lucchesi are running to fill his seat on the legislature.

Abrahams, who was elected to serve the county’s 1st District in 2001, expressed his gratitude to his constituents and Nassau residents for allowing him to serve as a leader for more than 20 years.

He did not provide a specific reason for not seeking re-election to his seat.

“It has been a great privilege and an honor to serve my constituency and advocate for change,” Abrahams said in a statement. “I am grateful to all my colleagues for their support throughout the years and to my constituents for allowing me to continue to represent them for over two decades.”

The 1st District includes the communities of Freeport, Roosevelt, Uniondale and East Meadow.

Abraham’s district, under newly approved legislative maps, has a larger number of enrolled Republicans than the current one, but still has more than 21,000 registered Democrats compared to 10,000 registered Republicans, according to the data.

Republican legislative incumbents include Howard Kopel, John Giuffre, Michael Giangregorio, Thomas McKevitt, William Gaylor, John Ferretti and Rose Marie Walker.

Nicolello, in a March statement, said being a legislator has been “a long commitment and it takes its toll on a family.”  The long-serving legislator lauded the Nassau GOP for having a “a lot of talent” as it looks for someone to succeed him.

After serving in Nassau County for nearly three decades, Nicolello has spent the previous six years as the Republican leader. Abrahams last month said he was grateful all of the debates between him and Nicolello did not “undermine” their friendship and wished him well.

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