Baldwin Democrat Laura Curran pulled off a historic victory over Republican Jack Martins to become the first woman elected as a county executive on Long Island.
For much of the night on Tuesday, the race was too close to call, until a series of heavily Democratic districts began reporting results and Curran pulled ahead for good.
Both Curran and Martins campaigned heavily on anticorruption platforms, as outgoing County Executive Ed Mangano battled 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. She went on to say that she planned to make Nassau County “a better place for all our residents,” and to make county government accountable to the voters “and only to them.”
Oyster Bay Supervisor Joseph Saladino, a Republican who was appointed in February to lead a town suffering from a tarnished image after corruption charges forced Supervisor John Venditto to resign, won the election with 52 percent of the vote. Three candidates challenged him — John Mangelli, Robert Ripp and Dr. Marc Herman.
Herman, a Democrat, garnered 42 percent. “I think we raised the bar in terms of integrity, in terms of honesty and in terms of dealing with corruption in the town,” he said.
Saladino served in the State Assembly for 13 years before resigning from the Legislature to lead the town. “I’m so thrilled and appreciative that residents responded to our hard work, which paved the way for a new day in Oyster Bay,” he said. He added that he and Republican town council members had “constrained spending, reduced debt, cut taxes and implemented real ethics reform.”
Republicans Thomas Hand, a former commissioner of the Massapequa Water District; Louis Imbroto, a former District Court prosecutor; and Michele Johnson, an attorney, were all council appointments — Imbroto joined the board in March, Hand in May and Johnson in July 2013. All were elected on Tuesday.
“We’re very happy that the people recognize that our ticket represents providing fiscal responsibility and a suburban quality of life in Oyster Bay,” Imbroto said.
Robert Freier, a Woodbury Democrat, and James Versocki, a Sea Cliff attorney, ran unsuccessfully for town council.
Freier has been vocal, often questioning decisions at town board meetings for three years. “Our team brought the very serious issues of corruption, nepotism and high taxes to the people, and a significant number heard our message,” he said.
Versocki, who said he believes the town is a “financial mess,” had hoped to convince the council to conduct a forensic audit to get its finances in order. “I just hope that the new administration will truly serve the people of Oyster Bay,” he said, “which has been mismanaged for far too long.”
County Legislator Delia DeRiggi-Whitton earned 69 percent of the vote over Independence Party challenger Zefy Christopoulos to win the 11th District. De-Riggi-Whitton said she was honored to represent the district and looks forward to serving another term.