Backlash against bail reform leads to GOP DA victory wave on Long Island

A red Republican wave splashed over Long Island Tuesday with GOP district attorney candidates in Suffolk and Nassau counties handily winning their elections and leading political observers to conclude their victories are referendums on New York’s highly contentious bail reform law.

According to the New York Post, Anne Donnelly, a local career prosecutor in Nassau, managed to upset Democratic state Sen. Todd Kaminsky, himself a former federal prosecutor who supported the 2019 legislation eliminating cash bail for defendants who have been charged with any number of misdemeanors and “non-violent” felonies.

The deputy chief of the Nassau district attorney’s organized crime and rackets bureau, Donnelly received 145,766 votes, or about 60 percent of the total versus 97,299 votes, or roughly 40 percent, for Kaminsky.

“Kaminsky and Democrats rolled back some of the changes in 2020 following a public backlash and complaints from law enforcement that criminals getting sprung immediately would commit more crimes,” The Post reported. “The Democrats took action to limit judges’ discretion to set bail after wresting control of the state Senate from Republicans.”

Kaminsky cast a vote for a bail reform provision that was part of the state’s 2019 budget and then pushed for amendments to the law the following year in response to complaints about it. But his Republican opponent, along with the GOP, effectively used Kaminski’s support for the original measure against him, handing the rising Democratic star a major defeat.

“The voters are sending a message. Safety first. Our children and families come first,” Donnelly said early Wednesday in response to her victory. “I intend to hit the ground running come January and do everything I can to protect the people of Nassau County.”

And in Suffolk County, meanwhile, Republican candidate Ray Tierney handily defeated Democratic incumbent DA Tim Sini, 57 percent to 43 percent, with bail reform also a major issue in the race.

Throughout New York, Republicans managed victories in races they were not projected to win in the heavily blue state, as a statement from Rep. Elise Stefanik’s office noted:

Republican Danielle Fogel defeated former Far-Left Congressman Anthony Brindisi in a landslide in the race for New York Supreme Court in the Fifth Judicial District.
Republican Scott Ostrander overwhelmingly FLIPPED the town of Milton.
Andrew Moses FLIPPED the St. Lawrence County Family Court Judge seat in a LANDSLIDE.
Elise Stefanik endorsed Republican Mark Wright won the town of Ticonderoga.
Republican Ronnie Roberts FLIPPED the town of Colton.
Republican Norman Davis FLIPPED the town of Beekmantown with 60% of the vote.
All of Elise Stefanik’s endorsed candidates won in Jefferson County. 

“Congratulations to Republicans across New York and the North Country on their exciting and impressive victories tonight. Here in the North Country, Republicans won by record margins and flipped multiple Democrat-held seats,” Stefanik, the No. 3 Republican in the U.S. House, said in a statement.

“This was a clear referendum on the disastrous ten months of Joe Biden’s administration and a Republican resurgence fueled by outrage after years of corrupt, Albany politicians destroying our state,” she continued.

“The strength of our grassroots support has never been stronger,” she added. “The work to save New York started tonight with Republican victories up and down the ballot, and it will continue in 2022 when we retire Nancy Pelosi and finally take back the Governor’s mansion.”

BPR’s Exclusive Exit Poll Reports by BPR on Scribd

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