For the first time in more than a century, the Town of Hempstead will have a Democratic supervisor. Laura Gillen, a Rockville Centre attorney, defeated incumbent Republican Anthony Santino on Tuesday night, by roughly 2,000 votes.
Santino had faced withering criticism over the past several months from council members of his own party, alleging transparency issues and corruption.
“One hundred years of one-party rule is quite enough,” Gillen said of the town government.
Santino conceded the race Wednesday morning, vowing to work with Gillen toward a smooth transition.
"I congratulate Ms. Gillen on her victory and wish her the best of success as she assumes the position of Hempstead Town Supervisor," Santino said. "I look forward to working cooperatively with her to ensure a smooth transition for our township’s residents."
Baldwin Democrat Laura Curran also made history by pulling out a victory over Republican Jack Martins in the race for Nassau County’s highest seat, with roughly 8,000 more votes than Martins, with virtually all precincts reporting. Curran will be Nassau’s first female county executive.
Both women campaigned heavily on anticorruption platforms. Outgoing County Executive Ed Mangano is facing federal corruption charges, to which he has pleaded not guilty.
“Tonight, Nassau voted to end the culture of corruption,” Curran said in her victory speech, “and to give our county the fresh start we deserve.”
Democratic Long Beach City Manager Jack Schnirman also won his race against Republican Steve Labriola for the county comptroller post, while Republican County Clerk Maureen O’Connell fended off a challenge from Democrat Dean Bennett.
In Legislative District 5, which covers part of Rockville Centre, Debra Mulé garnered 67 percent of the vote to easily defeat Kathleen Spatz and take Curran’s seat.
William Gaylor defeated Dino Amoroso in District 6 by about 1,400 votes, and said that he is ready to focus on county finances, eliminating the Nassau Interim Finance Authority, improving infrastructure and continuing “to keep government transparent to the people.”
“It was a good campaign and the voters voted their conscience,” he said.
Howard Kopel was re-elected to his seat in District 7, as he earned about 2,000 more votes than Rockville Centre Democrat Karen Blitz. “She conducted herself with dignity, and I hope she stays involved,” Kopel said of Blitz. “I want to continue working on the same issues and get the country on firm financial footing.”
Town Councilman Anthony D’Esposito, who Santino appointed as his deputy supervisor earlier this year, handily defeated Douglas Mayer in the Fourth Councilmanic District, earning 58 percent of the vote.
“It’s great to see that so many of my constituents in the Fourth District were approving of the work that I’ve done over the past 18 months,” D’Esposito said. “Being out there doing my best for the community has certainly resonated with people.”
He did not comment on Santino’s loss to Gillen.