LONG ISLAND (WABC) -- Republicans appeared Wednesday to be on their way to victories in all three major races on Long Island.
In the race for Nassau County Executive, Republican candidate Bruce Blakeman declared victory over Democratic incumbent Laura Curran.
"We went against a very, very popular well-funded incumbent, and we're in a great position right now," Blakeman said. ""I haven't waited for anything. I've been working since 7:30 this morning on the transition."
In a statement overnight, Curran said she's not conceding and that many votes still needed to be counted.
"There are many thousands of absentee ballots that still must be counted, with more coming in," she said. "This is not over, and we must trust the process. Every Nassau resident who participated in this election is owed the opportunity to have their voice heard. I have faith in Nassau County and the good work we have accomplished over the last four years. The residents of Nassau have taught a masterclass in resilience, and I have plenty in reserve. We may not know the winner of this election, but I do know one thing - tomorrow, we get right back to work delivering for the incredible residents of Nassau County."
Still, Blakeman sounded very confident in the tight race, even though as many as 20,000 absentee ballots must still be counted with Curran trailing by just over 11,000 votes.
It could be an extremely narrow victory for Blakeman, but ideologically, it is huge for Republicans who seemingly argued successfully that Democrats aren't who they used to be.
"This isn't the party of John F. Kennedy anymore," Blakeman said. "It's the party of AOC (Alexandria Ocasio Cortez) and Bernie Sanders, and they're rejecting that."
Curran is more of a centrist Democrat who was known for working both sides of the aisle, but in the end, experts say Long Island is traditionally republican in its infrastructure.
"If you look at the town structures, Oyster Bay, Hempstead, very Republican friendly with a lot of support systems there," said Dr. Craig Burnett, with the Hofstra University Political Science Department. "So it's not surprising that they can be organized pretty much all the time."
In the race for Nassau County District Attorney, Republican Anne Donnelly defeated Democrat Todd Kaminsky.
"Thank you for caring enough about Nassau County to want to keep it safe," Donnelly said. "And thanks for backing the candidate who backs the blue...I'm excited to get to work and make a difference, as I've tried to do for the last 32 years."
Kaminsky conceded the race and thanked his supporters.
"Last night's result was not what we wanted, but I am so proud of the campaign we ran and the people who volunteered their time and energy to knock on over 100,000 doors across Nassau County," Kaminsky said. "Long Islanders want safe communities and government free from corruption. In my role as a Senator, I will continue to serve my constituents and remain committed to those critical priorities and others to move Nassau forward."
If the Republican victories are confirmed, it will be the first time the party has controlled Nassau County's leadership across the board in nearly two decades.
In Suffolk County, incumbent District Attorney Tim Sini conceded the race to Republican challenger Ray Tierney, a former federal prosecutor.
Suffolk voters also elected a Republican supermajority to the County Legislature.
Results are not yet confirmed, but it appeared there would only be five Democratic winners in 18 legislative district races.
"This is a red wave," Sini said.
The issues at the center of the elction were property taxes and public safety, and Donnelly hopes to do away with bail reform.
What was less talked about was general anger during the pandemic, especially over masks in schools. But post-election, Blakeman not hesitant to weigh in on that Wednesday.
"It doesn't make any sense," he said. "I haven't seen the science yet, for kids to have to wear masks in school. They don't have to wear it in Costco. Why in school?"
As for when the Board of Elections will finish counting, it could be the end of next week or even extend into next week.
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