Voters across Long Island headed to the polls on Tuesday to cast their ballots for the Nassau County Legislature and the Hempstead Town Board.
In the Uniondale-focused race for the seat in the Legislature’s 2nd District, the Democratic incumbent, Siela Bynoe, defeated her Republican challenger, Karin Campbell.
Bynoe, a 56-year-old Westbury resident, captured roughly 75 percent of the vote, garnering nearly 4,900 of the total of 6,600 cast, according to results compiled by the Nassau County Board of Elections.
“I’m ready to continue the work I started over nine years ago for the people of this community,” Bynoe said. “Serving in the Legislature continues to be my highest honor and I look forward to fostering relationships in this newly formed district and working collectively to address your concerns, meet your needs, and be your voice in government.”
Bynoe intends to immediately continue her work, wasting no time on her end. “In this new term, I will work toward advancing and expanding upon our investments in crucial infrastructure projects; increasing access to opioid treatment and mental health care resources; and fighting to secure the future of Nassau University Medical Center," concluded Bynoe.
Scott Davis also won in the 1st District, which takes in part of the Village of Hempstead. “This has been quite a journey,” Davis said in his victory speech at the Garden City Hotel on Tuesday night.
“The number one issue for all of Nassau County is affordability,” he said. “It’s taxes. It’s expensive living here, and for me, my priority has always been to the taxpayer. It shouldn’t be the government or the politician. It’s been a long six months, so first I want to take a little bit of a deep breath here and gather myself, roll up my sleeves, and get down to work.”
Davis also says he was looking forward to working with Bynoe on improving the community’s infrastructure, thanks to over $41 million in funding that she secured to improve the village’s roads and sidewalks — with additional funding possibly on the way for similar improvements in Uniondale.
“The Village of Hempstead is one of largest villages in the United States, but has some of the oldest infrastructures in the entire country,” Davis said. “The infrastructure is the skeleton of a community.”
Aside from Bynoe’s and Davis’ victories, this was a difficult year for Democrats, particularly in the Town of Hempstead, where Republican incumbents celebrated landslide victories.
“This election was very status quo — nothing is really changing,” County Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs said.
Town Supervisor Don Clavin was easily re-elected to his third term, defeating Uniondale’s own Olena Nicks, with 57 percent of the vote, collecting nearly 72,000 of the total of just under 126,000.
“It feels good to be in the Republican Party tonight,” Clavin said. “This race was about taxes, and quality of life, and that is what we plan to deliver in the Town of Hempstead — stable taxes, tax freezes, and triple-A bond rating.”
Nicks expressed her disappointment with the results, but is looking forward to the future and is not giving up on the people she hopes to one day represent. “Despite the unexpected outcome of Tuesday night's election, I am still proud of the campaign I ran,” said Nicks, “being the first woman of color to run for supervisor in America's largest township at the age of 31 is a significant achievement in itself and I am proud and excited that we were able to elect two exceptional leaders to the legislature, Seth Koslow and Scott Davis, who I know will be champions for Nassau.”
“I will continue to be actively involved and committed to holding those who were elected accountable for delivering on the promises they made during their campaigns,” concluded Nicks
Clavin’s fellow incumbents, Town Clerk Kate Murray and Receiver of Taxes Jeanine Driscoll, also won by large majorities, both claiming over 55 percent of the vote in their respective races.
Thomas Muscarella, a Republican from Garden City, won his race as well. He was elected to the Town Board’s 2nd district, which covers East Meadow, Franklin Square, Elmont, and Malverne.
Muscarella, was appointed in 2019, filling the vacant council seat left open when Republican, Ed Ambrosino, resigned after admitting to committing tax fraud. Based on the unofficial results, Muscarella won with 86 percent of the overall vote — receiving 13,526 votes out of the nearly 20,400 cast.
Voters also passed two statewide amendments by large margins. One removes the borrowing limit for school districts in small cities, defined as those with fewer than 125,000 residents. This means smaller schools now have access to funds that approach those of larger schools.
Before the amendments passed, smaller school districts could only borrow 5 percent of the total value of the city’s taxable property. In larger school districts, the cap was twice that, creating easily identifiable disparities in funding and available resources.
The second amendment makes it easier to construct or repair sewage facilities by exempting those projects from the overall debt limits that apply to local governments. The sewage exception is already in place, having first passed in 1963, but must be extended every 10 years.