For the first time in more than a century, the Town of Hempstead will have a Democratic supervisor. Laura Gillen, a Rockville Centre attorney, defeated incumbent Republican Anthony Santino on Tuesday night, by roughly 2,000 votes.
Santino had faced withering criticism over the past several months from council members of his own party, alleging transparency issues and corruption.
“One hundred years of one-party rule is quite enough,” Gillen said of the town government.
Santino conceded the race Wednesday morning, vowing to work with Gillen toward a smooth transition.
"I congratulate Ms. Gillen on her victory and wish her the best of success as she assumes the position of Hempstead Town Supervisor," Santino said. "I look forward to working cooperatively with her to ensure a smooth transition for our township’s residents."
Baldwin Democrat Laura Curran also made history by pulling out a victory over Republican Jack Martins in the race for Nassau County’s highest seat, with roughly 8,000 more votes than Martins, with virtually all precincts reporting. Curran will be Nassau’s first female county executive.
Both women campaigned heavily on anticorruption platforms. Outgoing County Executive Ed Mangano is facing federal corruption charges, to which he has pleaded not guilty.
“Tonight, Nassau voted to end the culture of corruption,” Curran said in her victory speech, “and to give our county the fresh start we deserve.”
Democratic Long Beach City Manager Jack Schnirman also won his race against Republican Steve Labriola for the county comptroller post, while Republican County Clerk Maureen O’Connell fended off a challenge from Democrat Dean Bennett.
In the 7th Legislative District, incumbent County Legislator Howard Kopel (R-Lawrence) defeated Democratic challenger Karen Blitz.
“My opponent in this race was a very nice person, she conducted herself with dignity and I hope she stays involved,” Kopel said. “I want to continue working on the same issues, and get the county on firm financial footing.”
In other races
Democrat Slvia Cabana defeated incumbent Nasrin Ahmand for town clerk.
Incumbent Councilman Anthony D'Esposito, who represents the 4th District, won, again beating Democrat Douglas Mayer.
Sitting County Legislator Carrie Solages (D-Elmont), 3rd L.D., defeated Republican challenger Paul Sapienza.
In the 4th L.D., incumbent Denise Ford (R-Long Beach) defeated Democrat Jane Smith Fisher.
Sitting County Legislator William Gaylor (R-Lynbrook) beat back a challenge from Democrat Dino Amoros in the 6th L.D.