Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano defended his position as the county's top-elected official against Democratic challenger Tom Suozzi in a heated election Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013. (Christopher Twarowski/Long Island Press)
Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano successfully defended his position as the county’s top-elected official against Democratic challenger Tom Suozzi in a heated election Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013. (Christopher Twarowski/Long Island Press)

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano soundly defeated Democratic challenger Tom Suozzi Tuesday night in a heated rematch for the county’s top seat.

In contrast to their 2009 squeaker—in which Mangano ousted Suozzi by just 386 votes following a historic weeks-long recount—the Republican carried approximately 59 percent of the vote to Suozzi’s 41 percent, according to Nassau County Board of Elections Commissioner William Biamonte, winning by a nearly 18-point margin.

“I feel so blessed that I’m able to continue in this job,” smiled an emotional Mangano to a packed and charged room of supporters and fellow Republicans at Mirelle’s Restaurant & Catering in Westbury, the Nassau GOP’s election night headquarters.

He was flanked onstage by dozens of party and elected officials, including Nassau GOP boss Joe Mondello, former Sen. Alfonse D’Amato, Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) and Nassau Legislature Majority Leader Norma Gonsalves, along with Mangano’s wife Linda, their sons and his parents.

“Four more years! Four more years!” shouted the crowd before chanting a deafening “Edd-ie! Edd-ie! Edd-ie!”

It was a much different vibe in the Leonardo Room at the Chateau Briand catering hall down the road in Carle Place, where the Democrats had hoped to host their victory celebration for all their countywide candidates, which turned sour quickly. Somber supporters and party officials watched in states of shock and awe as the big screen behind their podium flashed a jubilant Mangano hugging Mondello with a headline “Mangano Victory Speech’’ before their candidate had even a chance to formally concede.

When it was Suozzi’s turn, Nassau Democratic Party Chairman Jay Jacobs led the former two-term county executive to the microphone alongside his wife Helene, where he told the crowd:

“It’s a tough loss.”

Mangano’s win was one of several for the Nassau GOP. Among them, Comptroller George Maragos and Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray were both re-elected and Republicans increased their majority in the legislature by a seat, according to Biamonte.

Nassau Dems had at least one key win: District Attorney Kathleen Rice was re-elected by nearly the same large percentage margin as Mangano.

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Christopher Twarowski is editor in chief of the Long Island Press and its chief of investigations. He holds an M.S. in Journalism with a specialization in investigative journalism from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and was an inaugural member of the school’s Toni Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism. He also holds an M.A. from the school with a concentration in business and economics. Twarowski has written for the financial and metro desks of The Washington Post and has earned more than 100 local, state and national journalism awards and accolades.