Zeldin Coattails Sweep-in Local Republicans


By Thomas Nothel

Riding the coattails of Republican Lee Zeldin, who won an impressive 47.5% of the vote for Governor while narrowly losing to incumbent Kathy Hochul, New York Republicans did exceptionally well on Election Day, picking-up five congressional seats, three State Senate seats and a half dozen Assembly seats.

On Long Island’s gold coast, Republicans won both congressional seats, the two New York State Senate seats and two seats in the New York State Assembly. They also won many other races in Nassau and Suffolk County.

Nick Lalota defeated Democrat Bridget Fleming - by 56% to 44% - to hold on the seat in the First Congressional District (Huntington, Smithtown, Port Jefferson and the East End) - currently held by Republican congressman Lee Zeldin.

George Santos more narrowly won the Third Congressional district (Oyster Bay, North Hempstead, NE Queens) defeating Democrat Robert Zimmerman. That seat was previously held by Democratic Congressman Tom Suozzi, who is retiring after six years in Congress.

In the New York State Senate races, Republican incumbent Mario Mattera defeated Democrat Susan Berland; and Republican Jack Martins defeated Democratic Incumbent State Senator Anna Kaplan.

In the New York State Assembly races Keith Brown defeated Democrat Cooper Macco in the 12th Assembly District. In the 12th Assembly District Jake Blumencranz defeated Democrat Amanda Field.

Other Republican victories in Nassau and Suffolk races included Republican Andrew Garbarino won reelection in the Second Congressional District, Anthony D’Esposito defeated Democrat Laura Gillen in the Fourth Congressional District, the seat current held by retiring Democrat Kathleen Rice, John Kennedy defeated Democrat Thomas Dolan for Suffolk County Comptroller; and Vincent Puleo defeated Democrat Lisa Jimenez for Suffolk County Clerk.

The strong run for Governor by Zeldin energized Republicans in large numbers to cast ballots - helping down ballot candidates like Santos and D-Esposito.

The election saw an unprecedented number of Asian-American candidates, like Ruka Anzai in Glen Cove, Vibhuti Jha in North Hempstead and Aamir Sultan in Huntington, all of whom lost very close Assembly races to Democratic incumbents.

Suffolk County GOP Chair Jesse Garcia deserves praise for an amazing year: winning the March GOP State Convention for Lee Zeldin; winning the June primaries for Zeldin and Suffolk County Clerk-elect Vincent Puleo; winning the August primaries for congressmen-elect Nick LaLota and Andrew Garbarino; and winning Assembly and Senate seats and coming within five points of winning the November election for Zeldin.

Nassau County GOP Chair Joseph Cairo deserves recognition for winning two new US congressional seats; three new NYS Senate seats; and several new NYS Assembly seats.

The New York Republicans pick-up of five congressional seats flipped control of the House of Representatives from narrowly Democratic to a narrowly Republican majority.