Nassau County Executive Laura Curran has fallen short 2,150 votes in her bid for re-election to Republican Bruce Blakeman, a Hempstead Town Councilman.
Two weeks after residents cast their ballots, the county Board of Elections’ Democratic Commissioner James P. Scheuerman announced that all votes had been counted and the final tally was Curran with 140,476 votes and Blakeman with 146,626.
“It’s official! We won thanks to YOUR support,” Blakeman posted to social media shortly after the announcement. “On January 1st, we’ll move Nassau forward with plans that protect your wallet, increase public safety and protect parent rights.”
Blakeman added that he spoke with Curran, who “graciously pledged her full cooperation with the transition of our government.”
Curran congratulated Blakeman, touted her accomplishments while acknowledging the loss, and promised a smooth transition.
“This is not the result we hoped for, but there is so much to be proud of,” she said in a statement. “Four years ago, we promised to clean up the corruption and fiscal mismanagement that plagued county government, balance budgets and turn deficits into surpluses – and we did just that. My administration took on the tough fight of reassessment: transforming a broken system into one that is fair and accurate. Through strategic investments in community-based policing, my administration secured Nassau’s ranking as the ‘safest community in America.’ And together, we overcame a global health and economic crisis – rebounding as the region hardest hit by the pandemic to the highest vaccinated county in New York State.”
Blakeman was ahead of Curran by about 11,000 votes on Election night, when the Republican challenger declared victory. But the Democrat, the first woman elected as Nassau’s county executive in 2017, did not concede. Though the counting of absentee ballots lessened the gap, it was not enough to pull Curran ahead to retain her seat.
As usual in Nassau, chief among the campaign issues was the property tax assessment system that has plagued county finances for decades, contributing to billions in debt and the New York State-appointed Nassau Interim Finance Authority’s oversight since 2000. Blakeman has vowed to fix the problem.
-With Tim Bolger