It was all cheers at The Garden City from officials, family members and friends, celebrating Debra Mulé’s re-election to the Nassau County Legislature.
This will be the Democrat’s fourth term in Mineola after defeating Republican Ben Jackson with nearly 60 percent of the more than 8,000 votes, according to unofficial results.
Mulé will represent a new district with communities that include parts of Oceanside, Baldwin, Freeport, South Hempstead and Roosevelt.
“It feels great,” Mulé said, after her victory. “I’m very much looking forward to continuing the ongoing work in the district, and learning about the new parts of my district.”
Jackson, who is president of the Freeport Chamber of Commerce, fell short, but still said he was “proud of the race he ran.”
“Debra and I spoke early on and we decided not to attack each other and I think we were both able to run a very clean campaign and I respect her for that. I’d like to thank all of my friends and family who helped me in this election,” Jackson added.
Mulé plans to jump into this fourth term by focusing on repairing old infrastructure. She says she’ll work with her colleagues from across the aisle to find funding from the state for underground piping. With a number of sinkholes opening up in Mulé’s district, she believes this remains an important issue.
“What is happening is, we have aging infrastructure,” Mulé told reporters at a Herald Roundtable session last month. “So, sewer pipes are getting cracks in them, and the dirt that’s underneath the pavement is going in the cracks. And with nothing to hold up the pavement, you get sinkholes.”
Some infrastructure in Mulé’s district is 80 years old. Due to the need for rapid repairs, Mulé sent letters to U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, Gov. Kathy Hochul, U.S. Rep. Anthony D’Esposito, and Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman in the hopes funding these infrastructure capital projects would become a priority.
One particular project that fixed parts of the infrastructure in Baldwin was the Complete Streets Project. A portion of Grand Avenue was completely redone with new paving, paver stones, decorative lighting and curb bump outs. Mulé spearheaded this project, and it will be finished before the start of her fourth term on Jan. 1.
“I am very proud that I got this project through the legislature because there was a small — but vocal — minority who was against it,” she said. “But I persevered, and now the project is nearly completed.”
Mulé also will work on transforming what she describes as the eyesore that is the Oakwood Beach Club in Baldwin. It’s been out of business for more than a decade, and crime has grown on this Milburn Avenue property. Mulé says she’ll focus on making it right.
“There are environmental concerns on this property because it is on very sensitive land,” Mulé said. “It’s three acres of waterfront property, so it really could be quite stunning — and something special.”
Based on unofficial results, Laura Ryder was elected for another term as a Hempstead town councilwoman with 62 percent of the vote.
“It is my honor to continue to serve my constituents,” Ryder said in a statement following her victory Tuesday night. “I am grateful to be part of an incredible team of dedicated public servants. Many thanks to all who supported me, and I will continue to be your voice.”
Ryder’s district covers East Rockaway, Hewlett, Island Park, South Hempstead, Oceanside, and Rockville Centre as well as portions of Baldwin, Cedarhurst, Lynbrook, Malverne, Valley Stream and Woodmere.
“It is what it is,” her opponent, Darien Ward said. “I’m not surprised.”
Ryder was appointed to the Hempstead board replacing Anthony D’Esposito after he was elected to Congress last year. Ryder had previously served as a Lynbrook village trustee.
Just like Mulé, Ryder said infrastructure issues remain at the top of her to-do list. She cited Oceanside Pool Park as an example of the town working to improve services. Ryder is “really pushing, pushing, pushing” to have the facility upgraded, she added, including renovating the dog park.
Ryder also will focus on issues like taxes and public safety.
“First and foremost is always taxes, right?” Ryder said. “That’s what we all feel the most. I am happy to say that, this year, the Town of Hempstead’s budget has a tax freeze without cutting services. I am very proud of the fact that we’ve been able to hold the line on taxes without cutting any of the services.”
Ryder noted she is grateful to be able to provide public service on a much bigger platform — compared to when she would only volunteer in Lynbrook — and will continue to do so throughout her second term.
Patrick Mullaney won his seat on the Nassau County Legislature after defeating Democrat Alexis Pace with 60 percent of the vote.
“I’m speechless, I really am,” Mullaney said, after his victory. “I can’t thank the people of Long Beach enough. It’s a great community to call home. It really is my home base from when I started to run all the way to when not-so-nice things were being said about me.”
Mullaney’s seat was held by Denise Ford for 20 years. She endorsed Mullaney when she retired, saying he was the best person to represent the legislative district that includes Long Beach, Oceanside, Island Park, Atlantic Beach, East Atlantic Beach and Lido Beach.
Additional reporting by Kepherd Daniel