MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) - A red wave rolled across Long Island Tuesday night.
Voters replaced two Democratic district attorney seats with Republicans, in large part by seizing upon a law and order platform that opponents said distorted the truth.
As CBS2's Carolyn Gusoff reports, it was a safety message that motivated Long Island Republicans to turn out.
Anne Donnelly, a longtime assistant Nassau DA, painted her Democratic opponent as soft on crime. Todd Kaminsky, a former federal prosecutor, tried to counter.
"I was not the author of the bail reform law," Kaminsky said.
But the powerful messaging resonated.
"Their strategy is either make the voters angry or scare them, and with bail reform, they did both, and they used a lot of misinformation. Not only about bail reform itself and what it is and what the consequences of it were, but also by blaming Todd Kaminsky for writing a bill he didn't write," said New York Democratic Committee Chair Jay Jacobs.
Jacobs believes bail reform was needed but concedes the first iteration was rushed through and imperfect.
"It gave the Republicans something to beat us over the head with," Jacobs said.
"Thanks for backing the candidate who backs the blue," Donnelly told her supporters.
Meanwhile, in Suffolk County, the DA candidate backed by the blue lost. It was an unexpected defeat for Democrat incumbent Tim Sini, a former police commissioner. Republican Ray Tierney, a former prosecutor, also ran a campaign against cashless bail.
"We're not as safe as we were a couple years back. The crime statistics don't seem to comport with what the people in the streets are telling us," said Suffolk County DA-elect Ray Tierney.
A qualified incumbent got swept up in a red tsunami, political analyst Michael Dawidziak said.
"Everybody sort of thinks these local elected officials are so well-known and they're household names, and usually that's just not the case," said Dawidziak.
Albany took center stage, he added.
"It's dissatisfaction with the Albany policies going too far to the left. I'm calling last night 'the revenge of the suburbs,'" Dawidziak said.
The suburbs: The swing areas of the country that can decide national elections.
"Too liberal for me," one person said.
"Voters are a little upset over Biden right now, and gas prices, and the economy," said another.
Sini tearfully conceded, saying the position of DA should not be an elected post caught up in partisan politics.
Nassau's new DA says she will go to Albany to try to have bail reform repealed.
And because Kaminsky lost his bid to become Nassau DA, he will now return to Albany as a New York state senator.
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