Tuesday, November 7th was Election Day, and Democrats generally performed well around the country, including here in New York. However, Republicans had reason to be happy as well with some key wins upstate, a flip in a New York City Council race, and a “red wave” on Long Island. In Troy, Republican Carmella Mantello became the first Republican to be elected Mayor since 2007. Over in Saratoga Springs, Republicans won the mayoral race for the first time in 10 years with John Safford defeating incumbent Democratic Mayor Ron Kim. Also, Republican Michael Galime handily beat Democrat Celeste Friend by 31 points in Utica’s mayoral race, becoming the first Republican to win the mayor’s office since 2003.
In New York City, while Democrats still overwhelmingly won control of the New York City Council, Republican Kristy Marmorato flipped a seat in the Bronx held by Democratic Councilmember Marjorie Velazquez. Marmorato will be the first Republican to hold elected office at any level in the Bronx in 20 years and the Bronx’s first Republican Councilmember since 1983. However, the Bronx flip isn’t necessarily a mathematical gain for Republicans, as Councilmember Ari Kagan, who is a Democrat-turned-Republican, lost to Democratic Councilmember Justin Brannan after redistricting forced them to face-off against one another.
On Long Island, Republican leaders are touting a red wave as proof that Democrats should prepare for more losses in 2024. “We’re talking about a big movement, and we’re talking about this movement starting in a very blue state,” Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman said. “There is a message for the Democratic Party and the message is: You’re too extreme, you’re too far left, you’re too woke.” On Tuesday, Republicans turned out in especially high numbers, helping Republicans maintain their majority in the Nassau County Legislature and re-electing Republican Town Supervisors in Hempstead, North Hempstead and Oyster Bay. Over in Suffolk County, Republican Ed Romaine became the first Republican in 20 years to win Suffolk County Executive.
While Republicans had a disappointing night nationally, the National Republican Congressional Campaign (NRCC) was looking to New York for some hope in 2024, with NRCC spokesman Savannah Viar saying, “We have a simple message to New York Democrats: Giddy up, the ride has only begun.”