Voters went to the polls on Tuesday to cast ballots for the Nassau County Legislature and the Hempstead Town Board. For Franklin Square and Elmont, one county seat and two town seats were up for grabs among other positions.
In the race in the Legislature’s 3rd District, Democrat Carrié Solages declared victory over his Republican opponent, Sheharyar Ali. Solages, the 44-year-old incumbent from Lawrence, won with approximately 62 percent of the vote — receiving 5,914 votes out of the nearly 9,500 ballots cast, according to the unofficial results provided by the Nassau County Board of Elections as of midnight on Tuesday. Solages has held the seat for 12 years, and prides himself on getting things done for the communities he represents — from improving infrastructure to expanding the eligibility pool for tax benefits.
“I would like to thank the residents for making the right choice and for picking the right man,” Solages said as he celebrated with supporters and loved ones at a gathering at Le Spot Café in Elmont. “I’m humbled, and look forward to doing good for the residents and supporting the quality of services that they deserve. My opponent raised $400,000 in this campaign, and I only raised $30,000. Despite the money, it showed that financial might does not always make a right.”
Ali garnered 38 percent of the vote, but the 30-year-old prosecutor had only 3,553 votes at press time. His campaign focused on quality-of-life concerns.
“People don’t really like the direction the country is heading in, you know, with the affordability crisis, the quality-of-life issues, the crime issues,” Ali said. “So we gave it everything we had, and at the end of the day, whatever happens happens.”
Republican candidate Thomas Muscarella of Garden City declared victory in the race in the Town Board’s 2nd District, which covers East Meadow, Franklin Square, Elmont and Malverne.
Muscarella was appointed in 2019, filling the vacant council seat left open when Republican Ed Ambrosino resigned. Based on the unofficial results, Muscarella won with 66 percent of the overall vote — receiving 13,526 votes out of the nearly 20,400 cast.
“Another great victory — another red wave in Nassau County,” Muscarella said as Republican incumbents racked up victories in races throughout the town.
Throughout his tenure, Muscarella said, he has focused on “good government.” During a recent Herald Roundtable, he described good government as a government that pays attention to, and participates in, activities of the communities it serves.
His opponent, Lawrence Nedelka, of Garden City, is an active-service volunteer firefighter who previously worked as a finance commissioner for the town. Nedelka conceded after receiving only 34 percent of the vote. He said he was happy to have raised issues of concern in the community during his campaign.
“I embraced a couple of issues — the casino, transparency, accountability in government,” Nedelka said. “I pointed out areas where, instead of just holding the line on taxes, we could make some serious cuts and reduce bloated patronage. We could’ve probably lowered the line on taxes.”
Republican Town Councilwoman Melissa “Missy” Miller won re-election in District 3, which covers Long Beach, Valley Stream, Franklin Square and Malverne. Based on the unofficial results, Miller won re-election with 68 percent of the overall vote — receiving 14,826 votes out of the nearly 22,000 cast.
“I am very happy with the results and humbled that my constituents have put their faith in me again,” Miller said. “I will not let them down. I will continue to work hard for everyone.”
Miller, of Atlantic Beach, was appointed to the board in 2022, after Republican Bruce Blakeman was elected county executive. Miller previously served in the Assembly from 2016 to 2022.
As a councilwoman, Miller advocates for the disabled. The issue is one that hits close to home for her, because her son, Oliver, suffers daily seizures. She recently proposed a mandate for large buildings in Hempstead with public bathrooms equipped with adult-sized changing tables for people with disabilities.
Her opponent, Ingrid Izaguirre, of Valley Stream, who describes herself as a community outreach specialist, conceded after receiving only 32 percent of the vote. Izaguirre declined to comment on Tuesday night.
Town Supervisor Don Clavin was easily re-elected, garnering 65 percent of the vote. His fellow incumbents, Town Clerk Kate Murray and Receiver of Taxes Jeanine Driscoll, also won by overwhelming majorities, each claiming 64 percent of the vote.
With about 75 percent of votes counted, both statewide ballot amendments appeared to pass overwhelmingly. Sixty-five percent of voters supported Proposal 1 — which would remove the debt limit for small city school districts — and 69 percent supported Proposal 2 — which would permit cities and towns to exceed limits to build new sewage facilities.
With reporting by Ben Fiebert, Hernesto Galdamez, Juan Lasso, Mark Nolan, and Jordan Vallone.