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Republican ‘Rascals’ Know The Score

The Election Eve Party could have been an Election Night Party with local Republicans celebrating gaining seats.

The Banjo Rascals set the tone for the Oyster Bay Republican Club Election Eve Rally, held Monday, Nov. 4 and famed photographer Palma Monaco Douglass was there taking snapshots. Republicans did well in the 2013 election and many of the local candidates were there working to get the vote out.

The Nassau County elections on Nov. 5 brought out the voters and a large portion of them voted for Republicans. Locally, for instance, Justice of the Supreme Court John M. Galasso of East Norwich earned 233,874 votes, 24.26 percent, using figures from the Nassau County Board of Elections final tally for the 2013 vote.

Interestingly, when the party votes were counted, Howard S. Weitzman (Democrat) was leading with 44.83 percent of the vote to George Maragos (Republican) who garnered 44.12 percent of the vote. Maragos, whose son is a Muttontown resident, turned the vote around with the addition of the Conservative and Independence Party votes. In the total vote, Maragos won with 52.9 percent of the vote. That vote demonstrates how important the Conservative, Independence and Working Families and even the Green Party votes can count in the final results of an election.

Attending the Oyster Bay Rally was 4th District Court Judge Rhonda Erin Fischer, of East Norwich, Republican, who got 43,088 votes, or 64.89 percent.

Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto, Republican, earned 70.66 percent of the vote, while John E. Capobianco, Democrat earned 29.31 percent.

While the superintendent always says the township has about 300,000 residents, only 64,565 voted in the supervisor’s race.

TOB Board Race

The race for a seat on the Oyster Bay Town Board is done at large, the top three candidates win the race.           

So, while Chris J. Coschignano received 42,420 votes, or 23.10 percent; and Joseph G. Pinto got 39,559 votes, or 21.54; and Michele Johnson received 38,837 or 21.15 percent of the vote in her first election after being appointed in June: together they earned 65.79 percent of the vote. The Democrats got about half the votes of the Republican candidates: Kimberly L. Snow earned 22,387 votes or 12.19 percent; Christopher F. Briggs got 21,429 votes or 11.67 percent and Sekhar Nelanuthala received 18,947 votes or 10.32 percent. The total vote for the Democrats came to 34.08 percent of the vote. The total vote for the council seats was 99.97 percent with 3 percent write-ins.

Oyster Bay Town Clerk James Altadonna, Jr., appointed to office in June, won his first election with 39,637 votes or 63.55 percent of the vote. Running against Mili Makhijani who received 22,716 votes or 36.42 percent.

Redistricting Results

Of interest locally, is the new re-districting of Legislative boundaries, in which Democrat Delia M. DeRiggi Whitton had her district changed; she ended up in the 11th District where she won her seat with 8,218 votes or 53.46 percent against John P. DiMascio, Republican, who got 6,927 votes or 45.07 percent; and Stephen P. Sloane, Green Party who got 222 votes or 1.44 percent. DeRiggi-Whitton’s father is a former Glen Cove mayor and Nassau County Supreme Court Judge; her mother, Dr. Mildred DeRiggi is a retired historian and an author.

But that redistricting had an effect on the outcome of her former seat in the 18th District. The original redistricting proposed by the Republicans had Judy Jacobs moving into that spot, although it meant she was leaving much of her voter base. The final redistricting had Jacobs losing her East Norwich/Oyster Bay voters and that area switching to the “DeRiggi-Whitton area,” the 18th.

This year in the new confirmation of the 18th LD, running for the Democrats was Dave Gugerty, Esq. of Bayville. “There were more Republicans than Democrats in the new redistricting,” said Gugerty.

He was running against Donald N. MacKenzie, Esq., Republican, an Oyster Bay Water District commissioner, and a graduate of Oyster Bay High School, making him a favorite son of the new district. He received 57.61 percent of the vote with 8,583 votes. Gugerty got 42.36 percent of the vote with 6,311 votes. The Democrats lost the 18th District, just one part of the changes throughout the system, which has resulted in the 2014 Legislature having nine Democrats and 11 Republicans.

 Interestingly, another “favorite son,” Michael Venditto, John Venditto’s son, ran this year unopposed in the 12th Legislative District. He received 14.261 votes or 99.53 percent of the vote. In his 2012 election he ran against Joanne Maglione and earned 18,973 votes, 65.39 percent vs. her 10,036 votes, 34.59 percent: but a contested election usually brings out the vote.

Incumbent Judy Jacobs, Democrat ran in the 16th District against Louis Imbroto. She earned 9,426 votes, 63.33 percent against his 5,452 votes, 36.63 percent. Her district had included East Norwich and Oyster Bay but that has changed with the redistricting, and those areas are now covered by Donald MacKenzie, a good reason for him to get the votes he garnered.

Looking at the election figures, Gugerty said, “Overall, the Democrats believe they did a better job in this election in getting their message out regarding tax increases and record high debt.”

Taxes Tell A Tale

While talking about the vote, Matthew Meng, Democrat said, “On Tuesday, the Town of Oyster Bay unanimously voted to raise taxes by 8.8 percent. They always raise taxes close to the election so people will forget at the next election time.”

The town exceeded the current state cap on tax levies set at 1.66 percent. The town said the increase is to put the budget in a good place for the future, after it has been trying to catch up after the national recession which at first they believed thay were safe from.  

If they can improve their financial picture they may be able to better their bond rating which will mean better rates when they go out to pay up their bond debt.

Most of all, people with a passion for politics determine how elections will turn out. Passion is the key.