"Nassau County's financial house is broken, and I am running to fix it," Wink, 46, said in a news release announcing his candidacy. "Our comptroller . . . has spent his entire time in office campaigning for any office but the one he currently holds."
Maragos, 63, who failed twice in primary bids for the U.S. Senate since 2009, said: "I welcome Mr. Wink's announcement . . . I look forward to debating my record of accomplishments in helping lead the county through recession without any property tax increases, [and] 50 percent reduced borrowing."
Wink pointed to a state comptroller's report this week that he said attributed to the county comptroller a large part in the delays of the county's contract approval process.
But Maragos said that just showed "our due diligence to provide value and to ensure payments are tied to performance."
"I transformed the office into a national model for transparency and accountability with my groundbreaking audits, award winning reports and universally recognized independence," said Weitzman, a certified public accountant.
Wink, a lawyer, is losing his legislative district through redistricting, but said he probably would have run for comptroller, anyway. "I respect Howard, but it's time for new blood and a fresh perspective in that office," he said in an interview.
Wink, a county legislator for the past six years, had been a Town of North Hempstead council member for five years before that. He has also served as deputy counsel to the Democratic caucus on the county legislature and is a member of a Roslyn law firm.
Legis. Dave Denenberg (D-Merrick), who has said he is considering running for the comptroller's post, said Thursday he still has not made up his mind. "If Wayne is primarying Howard, that might make it a free-for-all," he said.