Haber, Suozzi gather support for campaigns

Nassau County Executive candidate Adam Haber accepts the Nassau County Executive candidate Adam Haber accepts the endorsement of "The Corridor Counts" at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Peace Park in Uniondale. (Aug. 17, 2013) Photo Credit: Anthony Lanzilote

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Nassau County executive candidate Adam Haber addressed minority activists, clergy and educators in Uniondale Saturday while Thomas Suozzi, his Democratic primary opponent, visited veterans in East Rockaway.

Haber, a Roslyn school board member who has struggled to secure endorsements from local political leaders, received the backing of The Corridor Counts, a new group representing residents of Lakeview, Hempstead, Roosevelt, Uniondale, Freeport and New Cassel.

"When was the last time a politician kept a promise to you?" the coalition's co-founder, Hempstead civil rights attorney Fred Brewington, said at Martin Luther King Jr. Peace Park.

"We're standing here at . . . the corners of The Corridor -- the communities that have been disenfranchised, disrespected, paid no attention to, underrepresented and unresponded to for too long," Brewington said.

Amid chants of "The Corridor counts!" about 100 Haber supporters cheered speakers as they took turns on the makeshift stage -- an open truck bed -- urging all to vote in the Sept. 10 primary.

"I'm doing this not because I need the party -- I don't need their money -- I'm making an investment in our community," Haber told the crowd. "It's greedy politicians who are hurting The Corridor."

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In East Rockaway, Suozzi, a former two-term county executive, greeted about two dozen veterans and their spouses for an afternoon barbecue hosted by the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

William Hickman, an 88-year-old World War II veteran, said he's voting for Suozzi, whom he called a familiar face with a known record.

"I think he's done the best job. When he left office, we were in the black and that hadn't been done in quite a while," Hickman said. "He had the wherewithal and knowledge of how to get out of trouble, and it didn't cost anybody anything."

Suozzi announced that his first campaign mailers to voters will be sent next week. Filled with photos of the candidate interacting with voters, the mailer touts Suozzi's record as county executive while criticizing his GOP predecessor, Thomas Gulotta, and incumbent Edward Mangano, a Republican who narrowly defeated him in 2009.

The mailer praises Suozzi for putting the county "on solid ground" with eight years of balanced budgets.

Suozzi spent about an hour at the gathering, taking the time to shake almost everybody's hand.

"I'm working as hard as I've ever worked in any campaign, because in 2009 I didn't work as hard as I should have," he said. "So I have a lot of extra campaigning to make up for it."

The winner of the Democratic primary will take on Mangano in November.

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