Republicans flipped three New York State Senate seats on Long Island in Tuesday’s elections, but Democratic leaders maintain it wasn’t enough to give the GOP the majority in Albany’s upper legislative chamber.
Former state Sen. Jack Martins (R-Mineola) unseated state Sen. Anna Kaplan (D-North Hills) with 53% to 46% of the vote, Nassau County Legislator Steven Rhoads (R-Bellmore) ousted state Sen. John Brooks (D-Massapequa) 60% to 39% and Malverne village trustee Patricia Canzoneri-Fitzpatrick, a Republican, beat Bellerose Village Mayor Kenneth Moore, a Democrat, 56% to 43% to flip the seat held by former state Sen. Todd Kaminsky (D-Long Beach), according to unofficial early returns posted by the Nassau County Board of Elections.
“This is a team victory,” Canzoneri-Fitzpatrick told cheering supporters at the Coral House in Baldwin, where GOP faithfuls gathered for an election results watch party Tuesday night.
The Republican victories chipped away at the 43-20 Democratic supermajority in the state Senate, but don’t appear to have tipped the balance of power to restore GOP control of the chamber for the first time in four years. That means Gov. Kathy Hochul, fresh off of being elected to her first full term as the Empire State’s first woman governor, will face little opposition in getting legislation passed by Democratic allies in the state Legislature.
“While we no longer have a veto-proof majority, Democrats still control the state Senate,” said Jay Jacobs, who chairs the state and Nassau Democratic committees. “Fortunately, we have a Democratic governor, so a veto-proof majority just isn’t necessary.”
Of the nine state Senate seats on LI, two remain in Democratic hands, down from six four years ago. State Sen. Kevin Thomas (D-Levittown) beat perennial Republican candidate James Coll 59% to 40% and former state Sen. Monica Martinez (D-Brentwood) beat Republican Wendy Rodriguez 48% to 51% to win a redistricted version of her old seat that now has a majority of Hispanic voters, early returns show.
The other three state Senate seats remained in Republican hands. State Sen. Anthony Palumbo (R-New Suffolk) beat Democratic challenger Skyler Johnson 56% to 43%, state Sen. Mario Mattera (R-St. James) beat Susan Berland 58% to 41% and state Sen. Alexis Weik (R-Sayville) beat Democratic challenger John Alberts 66% to 29%, early returns show. Weik’s race was notable because she had unseated Martinez two years ago but this cycle switched districts to run for the seat held by retiring state Sen. Phil Boyle (R-Bay Shore).