On Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2008, Barack Obama became the first African American elected to the office of President of the United States. President-elect Obama won New York State easily as his victory in the election was clear. He will be sworn in as the 44th President.
Although the election of the first African-American President is an historic event, millions went to the polls, not because of the color of his skin, but because of their view of him as the best man to lead the nation.
In the election of local officials, incumbents prevailed. Despite an aggressive campaign by Mineola Mayor Jack M. Martins, Democratic Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy held on to her Congressional seat, winning by a wide margin, collecting 153,320 votes to Martins' 87,239.
In the race for the 7th Senate District, Democrat Craig Johnson held to his Senate seat, defeating challenger Republican Barbara Donno by a margin of 63,470 to 49,050.
In the race for the 21st Assembly District, Assemblyman Tom Alfano once again prevailed, defeating Democratic challenger Alan Smilowitz by a 29,580 to 18,032 margin.
The Alfano camp was nervous of the outcome of the election. Because of the large turnout by Obama in the 21st Assembly District, there was a fear on the part of the Alfano campaign that voters would vote Democrat down the line. However, Alfano, a Republican, garnered many votes in Democratic areas.
Republican Senator Dean Skelos easily won his re-election bid. However, the Republican Senators lost the Senate majority to the Democrats. Skelos' short tenure as Senate Majority Leader will come to an end, although he is likely to be Senate Minority Leader.
Nassau County voters also passed a referendum to make the Nassau County Assessor an appointed position as opposed to an elected one. The assessor will now be chosen by the Nassau County Executive with ratification of the Nassau County Legislature.