Sunday, New Year’s Eve, I turned off the TV and headed to bed soon after watching the ball drop in Times Square. But this unusually low-key start to 2018 was necessary, for by lunchtime the next day, I’d covered the Inaugurations of three Democrats – LAURA CURRAN, LAURA GILLEN, and SYLVIA CABANA – replacing three GOP office holders here in Nassau County.
Though it was New Year’s Day morning, close to a packed house at Hofstra University’s Adams Playhouse watched New York Lt. Governor KATHY HOCHUL and Congresswoman KATHLEEN RICE swear-in Hempstead Town Supervisor Laura Gillen and Hon. MICHAELLE SOLAGES swear-in Hempstead Town Clerk Sylvia Cabana.
Hempstead, New York, USA. Jan. 1, 2018. NYS Lt. Governor KATHY HOCHUL (in green dress) and Congresswoman KATHLEEN RICE (seen partly behind podium) swear-in LAURA GILLEN (center) as Hempstead Town Supervisor, at Hofstra University. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)
U.S. Senator CHUCK SCHUMER was a speaker at both the Town of Hempstead and County County Inaugural ceremonies.
About an hour after that, and even though it was a bone-chilling 14 ℉ / -10 ℃, a thick arc of bundled-up onlookers stood thisclose together in front of the Theodore Roosevelt Legislative & Executive Building to witness Gov. ANDREW CUOMO administer the Oath of Office to Nassau County Executive Laura Curran.
It was a doubly historic day for Long Island. Before Laura Gillen took office, Town of Hempstead hadn’t had a Democratic Supervisor in over a century; plus, Laura Curran is the very first female Nassau County Executive.
Town of Hempstead/Nassau County Inaugurations: VIDEO
Yesterday, DAVID AXELROD was the Signature Debate Speaker on “The Evolving Media and Political Landscape” – a Debate 2016 event at Hofstra University, which is hosting the first presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald J. Trump later this month, on September 26.
My favorite Q&A exchange began when a student referred to Axelrod’s advice to vote for one of the two major party candidates, rather than casting a statement vote for a candidate with no realistic chance of winning. The student then said he did not want to vote for either the Democrat or Republican nominee and indeed would vote for a 3rd party candidate.
So Axelrod gave an example of when protest votes for a 3rd party candidate may have affected the outcome of the election:
In the 2000 presidential race in the pivotal state of Florida, Green Party nominee Ralph Nader received over 97,000 votes, and Democrat Al Gore received just 537 fewer votes than Republican George W Bush, who won the presidency.
Unswayed, the student once again said he’d be voting for a 3rd party candidate.
Axelrod began to say something, then abruptly stopped, glanced up and then back at the student, and asked if he was from New York. When the student said yes he was, Axelrod cheerfully told him to go and vote away. The student smiled as he returned to his seat; the audience clapped.
FYI from LI: The most recent Republican presidential candidate to win New York was Ronald Reagan in 1984.