3 on GOP slate for Long Beach City Council

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Long Beach Republicans have announced their slate of three challengers for this year's City Council race -- a group that includes only one registered Republican.

The GOP candidates are Republican Janna Jachniewicz, Independence Party member Damian Walsh, and Mike Franceschini, who is not affiliated with any party.

The slate will run against Democratic incumbents Scott Mandel and Eileen Goggin and a third candidate not yet selected.

The top two vote-getters get four-year terms and the third-place finisher wins a two-year term.

Franceschini said the Republican slate would bring fiscal conservatism to the board, currently controlled 4-1 by Democratic members.

The Republicans "would not present a budget that showed any kind of tax increase," he said, referring to the 2.16 percent tax levy increase in the proposed 2013-14 budget.

Mandel, the council president, said his board is steering the city out of a $10.25 million deficit left by the previous Republican-controlled administration and rebuilding post-superstorm Sandy.

"We had a sinking ship and we've worked tremendously hard to right that ship," Mandel said. "We've proven that we have the right team."

Mandel, who was elected in 2011, and Goggin, who was appointed this year, are up for re-election along with John C. McLaughlin.

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But McLaughlin, a registered Democrat elected on the Republican ticket, is not seeking re-election.

Franceschini is a former criminal investigator with the U.S. Department of the Treasury who now works as a forensic investigations contractor.

Jachniewicz is an attorney who runs the contracts department for a New York City financial firm, which she declined to name.

Walsh is a fifth-grade teacher at Yeshiva Darchei Torah in Far Rockaway who owns a restaurant in Island Park.

Walsh said the city needs to improve communication with the business community.

"I really feel like there is no open dialogue," he said.

Mandel works as an attorney with a Roslyn Heights firm. Goggin is an attorney and legal clerk.

Goggin said she would stay focused on rebuilding from Sandy if re-elected.

"Helping those residents get back into their homes" remains a priority, she said.

The Democrats will choose their third candidate at a convention later this month, said local party chairman Michael Zapson. He declined to name any potential front-runners.

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McLaughlin, who has been on the board for six years, said he is not seeking re-election because he doesn't think council members should serve more than two terms.

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