News, views and commentary on Long Island, state and national politics.
Whether Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano issued an endorsement in the Republican 3rd Congressional District primary came into question Wednesday, as one candidate charged the other with “falsely” claiming Mangano’s support.
Grant Lally, a Mineola attorney running against Stephen Labate, a Deer Park financial planner, in the June 24th primary, sent an email to supporters Wednesday morning touting an endorsement by Mangano -- an endorsement Mangano’s spokesman said the county executive never issued.
In a news release that included a picture of Lally standing with Mangano, and in a subsequent campaign fundraising email, Mangano is quoted as saying: “I am proud to endorse Grant Lally for Congress, and urge all Republicans to get out and vote for Grant in the June 24th Republican primary."
When asked to confirm the endorsement Wednesday afternoon, Mangano spokesman Brian Nevin said: “I am unaware of the endorsement.”
Labate, an Iraq War veteran who ran unsuccessfully against incumbent Rep. Steve Israel (D-Huntington) in 2012, issued a statement saying his “campaign spoke to the County Executive’s office and they deny issuing any endorsement.” Nevin confirmed the conversation did take place.
In a phone interview Lally said his campaign “jumped the gun” on announcing the endorsement. Lally said his campaign has been in contact with Mangano aides about the wording of an endorsement statement, that his campaign was planning on releasing after the Nassau GOP’s nominating convention on Thursday.
Lally said he “apologized” to Mangano’s aides for “my campaign staff’s enthusiasm in issuing a statement that had not been fully approved, but look forward to moving forward and hopefully receiving the support of the county executive.”
Mangano aides said they were “unaware of any discussions” concerning an endorsement announcement following the nominating convention.
Labate called Lally’s endorsement email a “dishonest act.”
“You don’t accidently put out an endorsement like that,” Labate said. “He owes an apology not only to the county executive but to the constituents in Nassau, Suffolk and Queens.”