Michael Venditto, son of Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto, beat fellow Republican and Democratic Party nominee Joanne Maglione nearly two-to-one in the lone Nassau County legislative race Tuesday, maintaining the GOP’s 10-9 marjority in the chamber.
Superstorm Sandy has added even more drama to the special election to replace Republican Peter Schmitt, the former presiding officer who led the GOP majority before he died Oct. 3. He represented the 12th legislative district covering southeastern Nassau. Blackouts, gas shortages and polling-place changes sparked by the hurricane made the race unpredictable on Election Day.
“This campaign has been like nothing else I’ve ever experienced in my life,” Venditto said on his campaign’s Facebook page Tuesday night before the results were in. “None of this would have been possible without the support of all those who volunteered, displayed a lawn sign, donated to the campaign, or even just sent along a well wish.”
Venditto won 16,678 votes to Maglione’s 8,928, according to the unofficial returns provided by the Nassau County Board of Elections early Wednesday morning.
The Nassau GOP cancelled their gala in Westbury after the polls closed. Nassau Democrats, who held their party at The Carltun in East Meadow, conceded defeat in the race after celebrating President Barack Obama’s re-election.
“I think [Maglione] ran a tremendous campaign,” said Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams (D-Hempstead). “I look forward to working with Michael Venditto.”
He said voter turnout was impacted by the storm, which hit Massapequa hard. Assemblyman Joe Saladino (R-Massapequa) was among those to lose a home to Sandy.
Party faithful cheered shortly before midnight when Nassau Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs announced that Obama won re-election. Abrahams told the crowd: “I have one thing to say: four more years!”