Republican Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano says in his latest TV campaign commercial that he reduced the county's debt while borrowing increased under the watch of Democratic challenger Thomas Suozzi.
The ad, which started airing Monday, opens with a snippet taken from a Suozzi ad, with the candidate saying, "We're headed toward another fiscal sinkhole."
The narrator then states: "Now Tom Suozzi wants us to believe it wasn't him?"
The ad goes on to accuse Suozzi, a former two-term county executive, of increasing Nassau's debt by $402 million, to $3.45 billion, while he was in office from 2002 to 2009. The ad, citing audited end-of-year financial statements, praises Mangano for reducing county debt by $2.4 million since taking office.
Suozzi, who has been hammering at Mangano's borrowing record for months in TV ads and mailers, said Tuesday that Mangano's figures don't include $350 million the county owes in property tax refunds and $110 million the county borrowed from the state to pay for employee pensions.
Suozzi said he reduced the tax refund backlog to $164 million during his tenure in the office, but it has more than doubled under Mangano.
"During the course of this campaign, I'm going to clearly demonstrate that Mangano is simply not telling the truth," Suozzi said.
Mangano spokesman Brian Nevin rejected Suozzi's claims. "It's more lies from a desperate Tom Suozzi," Nevin said.
Suozzi lost to Mangano in 2009 by 386 votes.