Written by Joe Scotchie Friday, 11 December 2009 00:00
Four years ago, Thomas R. Suozzi was re-elected county executive by a comfortable 21-point margin over his Republican Party challenger, Gregory Peterson. With election results of the 2009 race now official, Edward I. Mangano, a Republican from Bethpage, is the new county executive. According to the Nassau County Board of Elections, the final total gave Mangano a 122,490 to 122,104 margin over Suozzi.
Mangano’s 48 percent of the total vote represented a 10-point increase from Peterson’s numbers. While the Town of North Hempstead re-elected its Democratic Party incumbents, including Supervisor Jon Kaiman, the town played a significant role in the county’s overall sea change.
In 2005, only four election districts in the town voted Republican. This year, that number jumped all the way to 80 districts. The biggest changes came in the villages bordering Old County Road on the southern end of the town, but the Republican surge also reached into such Democratic strongholds in Great Neck and Port Washington.
Along the Old Country Road corridor that runs from New Hyde Park to Westbury, villages that voted heavily from Democratic blue four years ago to Republican red this year include New Hyde Park, Mineola, and Carle Place. North of Old Country Road, such Republican strongholds as Williston Park, East Williston, and Albertson saw their election districts return to the GOP fold.
Further north, Mangano managed to win election districts in such villages as Saddle Rock and Kings Point in the Great Neck area. Along the Northern Boulevard corridor, most of Great Neck and Roslyn stayed Democratic, but election districts in Roslyn Estates and Flower Hill voted Republican. Most of the GOP gains came in Manhasset, North Hills, Plandome, Plandome Manor, and up into the Port Washington election districts. Four years ago, only two election districts in the Great Neck-Port Washington-Manhasset-Roslyn area voted Republican. This year, 21 election districts, according to unofficial results, voted for Mangano.
Also in the Roslyn area, Greenvale was divided between Democratic and Republican districts, but much of Glen Head voted Republican. Four years ago, Glen Head, too, was wall-to-all Democratic. Outside of the Town of North Hempstead, Mangano carried nearly all of the election districts from Garden City to Oceanside in the Town of Hempstead. In the Town of Oyster Bay, which is where Mangano’s 17th Legislative District is located, the Republican challenger carried dozens of election districts in the Plainview to Massapequa corridor, ones that had voted Democratic in 2005. Mangano made similar gains in such villages as Old Brookville, Brookville, Muttontown, East Norwich, Upper Brookville, Bayville and Oyster Bay.
In 2005, Suozzi won over 800 election districts to a little more than 200 for his challenger. This year, according to unofficial results, Mangano won 629 election districts to 496 for Suozzi. And so, many of the county’s pressing problems that Suozzi emphasized during his administration, such as property taxes and keeping young people on the Island, are now the Republican Party’s responsibilities.