It’s official: Republican Bill Gaylor has won a fifth consecutive term as county legislator.
“We did it again,” Gaylor told the county Republican Committee Tuesday night. “They said it was a target to take me out. Well, we showed them what we can do.”
The Republican incumbent won the seat over Democrat challenger Jake Scheiner, a first-time candidate. Gaylor will serve the newly drawn 14th District of the County Legislature, which includes Lynbrook, East Rockaway, Malverne, Lakeview, West Hempstead and a small portion of Valley Stream.
“I’m grateful the residents of the new District 14 have put their trust in me to represent them,” Gaylor told the Herald. “I look forward to working closely with the community in the new term.”
Gaylor earned a little over 62 percent of the vote with 64 percent of precincts counted, according to the Nassau County Board of Elections as of midnight Tuesday.
There were few election night surprises throughout the county. In the Town of Hempstead, Republicans maintained a 5-1 majority on the town board. Supervisor Don Clavin easily won re-election, defeating challenger Olena Nicks with 65 percent of the vote.
Councilwoman Laura Ryder, who was appointed to the 4th Council District seat in March after serving as a Lynbrook village trustee, won her first election to the town council. Ryder defeated Democratic challenger Darien Ward, with 62 percent of the vote.
Ryder thanked her constituents for her victory.
“It is my honor to continue to serve my constituents in the Town of Hempstead 4th District,” Ryder said. “I am grateful to be part of an incredible team of dedicated public servants. Many thanks to all who supported me and I will continue to be your voice.”
Incumbent Clerk Kate Murray was re-elected with 63 percent of the vote. And incumbent Receiver of Taxes Jeanine Driscoll beat Michael Reid, with 63 percent of the vote.
Countywide, Republicans appeared to hold their 12-7 majority in the Legislature. Democrat Joshua Lafazan was trailing, 58 to 42 percent, according to the county Board of Elections website.
Ward said the election had taught him a lot, and that he would remain involved in helping neighbors. “Win, lose or draw, I think residents need to stay engaged in the political and economic issues of the town,” Ward said. “I will stay engaged. I learned a great deal from the residents, and will continue to advocate for accountability and transparency in town government.”
County Executive Bruce Blakeman, who wasn’t up for re-election this year, praised fellow Republicans at the county level, saying that under the leadership of county GOP Chairman Joseph Cairo, Republicans had built a dynasty.
“One hundred years from now they’re going to be talking about the Cairo dynasty,” Blakeman told supporters Tuesday night. “It’s a night when we can put faith in the people behind me that they will protect our communities. They will keep our taxes down, and they will make sure that we do not become a sanctuary county.”
Clavin summed up the feeling throughout the county Tuesday night when he said, “Ladies and gentlemen, how good does it feel to be in the Republican Party of Nassau County tonight?”
Scheiner, a 28-year-old lawyer and a former political campaign manager, fell short against Gaylor. “We are very proud of the campaign we ran,” Scheiner said. “We brought to the forefront important issues that are affecting our community, whether it be the skyrocketing cost of living in Nassau County or price gouging by Liberty Water and other utility companies.
“I want to congratulate Legislator Gaylor on a good win, and I wish him the best of luck in his next term serving our community in our districts.”
County and state Democratic Chair Jay Jacobs told supporters at the Garden City Hotel Tuesday night that the results coming in were expected.
“I don’t think we’re going to gain or lose any seats in the Legislature,” Jacobs said. “I’m very happy to congratulate the Democratic candidates who won tonight.”
With about 75 percent of votes counted, both statewide ballot amendments appeared to have passed overwhelmingly. Sixty-five percent of voters supported Proposal 1 — which would remove the debt limit for small city school districts — and 69 percent supported Proposal 2 — which would permit cities and towns to exceed debt limits to build new sewage facilities.
— Additional reporting by Ben Fiebert and Jordan Vallone