Republican candidates made gains on Long Island during Tuesday’s elections, building on victories the party secured in 2021 and 2022.
Ed Romaine became the first Republican elected to head Suffolk County, New York, in 20 years after defeating Democrat David Calone in the race for county executive on Tuesday, the New York Post reported. Republicans gained control of the entirety of Long Island’s congressional delegation by flipping two congressional seats in 2022 and won the election for executive in Nassau County, the other county that makes up Long Island, in 2021.
County executives in New York are responsible for collecting taxes, maintaining infrastructure and providing services to their constituents, according to The New York Times. Romaine ran on hiring more police officers, preventing illegal immigrants from entering Suffolk County and fighting cashless bail laws, the New York Post reported.
Romaine won with roughly 57% of the vote, compared to his opponent’s 42.9%, Newsday reported. The last time the office was up for election, in 2019, the Republican nominee only secured 43.3% of the vote, according to the Suffolk County Board of Elections.
“This is a repudiation. This is a backlash against policies dictated by New York City Democrats that have gone too far to the left. Suburban and rural voters have had enough,” Republican Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman told the New York Post.
Recent polling in New York City, which is adjacent to Long Island, suggests that residents are disappointed in how the Democrat-run government is handling the influx of migrants arriving in the city, according to the New York Post. One poll released by Siena College in September found that 41% of New Yorkers supported the construction of a border wall.
Romaine’s wasn’t the only victory Long Island Republicans enjoyed on Tuesday night. The party won several municipal elections and expanded its control of Suffolk County’s legislature, picking up a seat and positioning itself to have a veto-proof majority, Newsday reported.
Republicans also maintained their majority in Nassau County’s legislature, Newsday reported. Republicans had a good night in New York City itself, defending all their city council seats and gaining one in the Bronx, the NYT reported.
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