Though the 2023 elections were generally a disappointment for Republicans, with David Cameron’s defeat in the Kentucky gubernatorial race, the extremely tight Mississippi race, and the painful defeats in the Virginia legislature disappointing many who hoped for a major GOP victory heading into 2024. However, one bright spot, surprisingly, was in New York.
There, Republicans were able to score a major victory on Tuesday night and oust Democrats from a seat they have held for two decades. That seat is the Suffolk County executive position on Long Island, New York, and the Democrats have held it for 20 years.
Breaking that decades-long victory streak was Republican contender Ed Romaine, who defeated Democrat Dave Cameron. What’s more, Romaine won by a large margin, beating Calone by tens of thousands of votes and walking away with about 56 percent of the votes cast.
Romaine’s victory also represents something of a victorious counteroffensive for Republicans, who now manage to control a large portion of Long Island’s eastern part and control all of the county seats for Nassau and Suffolk Counties, along with the four congressional seats for the area.
Romaine, speaking to his voters after the major victory and the historic shift for Suffolk County that it represents, told them, “you’ve given me a large mandate tonight. And I plan to use that mandate to move this county forward.”
Romaine ran mainly on crime-connected issues. In a series of posts on his campaign X (formerly Twitter) account, for example, Romaine said, “The New York Post said I have a good shot to win the County Executive race and the GOP to dominate all Suffolk County elections. I told the paper that voters are rejecting the Democrats’ failed policies of bail reform, higher taxes, electric rate hikes … & letting unvetted migrants into Suffolk. I wish to thank former U.S. Congressman Lee Zeldin & former U.S. Senator Al D’Amato for their support.”
In another post he commented on economic issues, namely the gas tax, writing, “Rising gas prices are taking a bite out of everyone’s wallet. As County Executive, I will suspend the county tax on gasoline to help Suffolk residents save money at the pump.”
Generally, however, his focus was on crime and how to prevent it. In his last pre-election day post on X, he said, “My opponent wants to make Suffolk a safe haven for criminals & unvetted migrants. As Cty. Exec., I will fight cashless bail, stop Suffolk from becoming a sanctuary city, & hire more police, prosecutors & detectives.”
Similarly, a campaign graphic he shared in that tweet included the campaign slogan “For A Safer Suffolk” and enumerated priorities of his, such as “Beefing up the detective squad, hiring more cops and prosecutors,” “Stopping Suffolk from becoming a sanctuary city and preventing the placement of illegal unvetted migrants within the county,” and “Fighting cashless bail.”
Featured image credit: Romaine for Suffolk Campaign website
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