In the special election held for Nassau County Legislator for the 11th Legislative District, Port's Craig Johnson easily won the seat of his late mother, Barbara Johnson, who passed away in March, after a long battle with breast cancer. He garnered 6,774 votes. which represents 58 percent of the vote. His Republican opponent Linda Green, former TONH Town Clerk, received 2,650, and his Green Party opponent, Ben Zwirn, former Democratic town supervisor, tallied 2,278 votes. The turnout was 28 percent of the 41,000 eligible voters in the 11th district which is comprised of Manhasset, Roslyn, Westbury, Old Westbury and Port Washington.
An elated Craig Johnson at his victory party at Finn MacCool's on the night of the special election that was held to fill the seat of his late mother, Barbara Johnson. (His dad, Stuart, is on the top, far left.)
With nine Democratic legislators and nine Republican legislators currently holding seats in the 19 member legislature, Johnson's win restored the control of it in favor of the Democrats. (The Democrats only recently obtained their power, for the first time ever, in the November election.)
For many Port Washingtonians, the fact that Craig will be succeeding his mother made the win an emotional one. Many at the Johnson celebration party at Finn MacCool's said they felt Barbara's presence. Craig even said that he felt his mother smiling down on the festivities. He called the victory "bittersweet," however because it was only through the untimely death of his mother that he sought the office in the first place.
"I share my mother's passion for this area and I will strive to serve the people of the 11th district with the dedication and the compassion she demonstrated every day," Johnson said. "It is to her that I dedicate this victory."
He added, "I'm overwhelmed by the support of the district for my candidacy. I want to thank the voters for their demonstration of support. I'm very excited and eager to take on the challenge and I plan to carry on the work and legacy of my mom, Barbara."
Presiding Officer of the Legislature, Judy Jacobs, commented, "I am confident in Craig's integrity, ability and compassion and I know he will serve the people of the 11th district with the utmost dedication."
Assemblyman and Chairman of the Nassau County Democratic Committee Tom DiNapoli said, "Tuesday was a tremendous win for Craig individually and the Democratic Party. This victory will allow Craig to carry on the legacy of his mother, but more importantly, it will enable the Democratic party to lead the county during this critical time."
Legislator-elect Johnson is a bankruptcy attorney and resides in Port Washington with his wife Liz, also an attorney.