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Outgoing Nassau County Executive Laura Curran: 'I'm Confident We Left This Place A Heck Of A Lot Better Than We Found It'

MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- In a county where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans by 100,000, incumbent Laura Curran lost her bid for re-election as Nassau County executive.

As she exits office after leading 1.5 million residents through the pandemic, she recently sat down with CBS2's Jennifer McLogan.

"Two weeks before the election, polling by both parties calls your lead somewhere between large and enormous," McLogan said.

"Unfortunately, it's sad. But it's fear and anger that will often drive people to the polls," Curran said.

Canadian-born Curran, the first woman elected as Nassau County executive, was done-in by bail reform, although she criticized it as too much too soon.

"It just really caught fire. People were furious about it," Curran said.

Curran was on the Democratic ticket with state Sen. Todd Kaminsky, who ran unsuccessfully for district attorney and became the lightning rod for the GOP, which blamed him for supporting changes in new bail laws.

"There is some comfort in the fact that I lost by less than 1%," Curran said.

Curran's sky-high approval ratings didn't matter as outnumbered Republicans energized voters and candidate Bruce Blakeman capitalized on those crime fears. But what's more astonishing is he won despite crime going down.

"I'm very proud we were deemed the safest community in America," Curran said.

Blakeman also targeted tax burnout.

"I tackled something that everyone was afraid to touch with a 10-foot pole, that's the reassessment," Curran said.

Despite the validation of assessments, 65% of property owners saw an increase.

"I didn't run for office to kick the can down the road. I ran to solve problems," Curran said.

She said she is most proud of balancing the budget, fixing assessment, prioritizing public safety, and keeping her administration honest.

"There was a real old boys club. My predecessor was arrested on corruption charges," Curran said, referring to Democrat Ed Mangano.

Now, the wife and mother of three said she is looking forward to more time with her family and going to Islanders games at new UBS Arena.

"It has been a wonderful four years and even in the most dark, difficult days I loved coming to work. I'm confident that we left this place a heck of a lot better than we found it," Curran said.

Prior to holding elected office, Curran worked as a reporter for the New York Post and Daily News. Some television networks are interested in her as a political analyst. Observers say her future is bright.

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