Carrié Solages was the Election Night star at Nassau County Democratic headquarters in Mineola, after it was announced that he had defeated 16-year Republican incumbent County Legislator John Ciotti — an original member of the Legislature — by a slim 400-vote margin to capture the county’s 3rd Legislative District seat.
According to final results on Nov. 9, Solages had 5,740 votes, while Ciotti had 5,309. But Ciotti announced that he was not conceding defeat, and that his office would pursue a recount once the county Board of Elections collected all absentee and provisional ballots — which were expected to be received by the end of this week.
“There are many, many absentee votes that still have to be counted, so don’t count me out just yet,” Ciotti said in Westbury last week. “The 3rd Legislative District is alive and well.”
Other Republicans stood up for Ciotti, even as the numbers looked grim. “Ciotti ran a great race,” said Town of Hempstead Councilman Ed Ambrosino. “I don’t care what it says up here, John Ciotti is a winner each and every day.”
Nassau County Legislator Fran Becker called Ciotti “a man of tremendous integrity, of tremendous character.”
Ann DeMichael, Ciotti’s administrative assistant, confirmed that Ciotti was pursuing a recount with the Board of Elections, and added that several residents have expressed concern about the 3rd L.D. election. “They’re asking me, ‘Who’s going to take care of us now?’” DeMichael said.
The 32-year-old Solages, who earlier this year criticized Ciotti’s vote in favor of redistricting — which would have removed much of the minority community, including areas of Valley Stream, North Valley Stream and Elmont, from the district — said that the recount was an effort by Republicans to spoil his first legislative term. He explained that he won’t be able to represent the district until the county certifies the election, which is subject to the recount and — should Ciotti’s office choose to prolong the fight — litigation.