, R,I,C, has changed his title from Mayor of Mineola to Senator-elect. In an apparent upset, Martins defeated victory over seventh state senate incumbent , D-Port Washington, late Tuesday night at GOP election headquarters in Westbury.
Martins and Johnson had waged a hard-fought campaign across the district, with battlelines being drawn over , , , and the infamous .
"Mineola has spoken, New Hyde Park has spoken, Westbury has spoken," Martins said, with many supporters chanting for him to add Port Washington to the list. "They've all spoken – it's time we returned common sense to Albany, we're taking it back up there!"
At about 12:35 a.m. in Port Washington, Sen. Johnson stood up on a chair to address his supporters. "There's still too much outstanding, a lot of it from the 16th Assembly District that's outstanding, so we don't know right now," he said. "It's going to be a late night; the new voting machines stink."
Then, seeing Martins on TV, Johnson said, "he's saying he's winning? He's not." Johnson later added that "it's going to be premature declaring that victory."
Johnson had taken a brief lead of about 2,000 votes around 11:20 p.m. before Martins pulled ahead just before midnight. The GOP had stopped updating numbers shortly thereafter, with the tally reading around 29,000 to 25,700 for Martins and Johnson, respectively.
Despite Martins declaring the victory, other media outlets still had the race as too close to call. According to the Nassau Board of Elections website at 2:35 a.m., Martins lead 37,808 – 37,312 with 247 of 270 precincts reporting results.
At 2:35 a.m., Martins lead 37,808 – 37,312 with 247 of 270 precincts reporting results. Martins' margin widened at 3:00 a.m. to 40,262 – 39,461 with 264 of precincts reporting.
The News 12 election results website had 70-percent of precincts reporting, and showed a statistical dead heat with Martins trailing by about 150 votes.
"Locally Craig did very well," said County Legislator Wayne Wink, D-Roslyn Heights. "It's going to be tight for a while. It sounds like there's a lot of anger, a lot of fear, a lot of apprehension. People are voting their pocketbooks, (but) are buying the failed policies of the past."
Martins victory would see the restoration of the "Long Island Nine" – the Republican senatorial block representing Long Island. The victory would also mean the GOP could takeover the majority in the New York state senate.
Patch will keep voters updated on the race.
Update 3:30 a.m.: the Nassau Board of Elections website indicates that Martins has won the election with all 270 precincts reporting.Candidate Votes % Precincts Reported Craig Johnson 40,626 49.73 Jack Martins 41,041 50.24