Spin Cycle

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Former Freeport Mayor Andrew Hardwick, who was removed from the ballot as a third-party candidate for Nassau County executive by Democratic legal action, is at the center of another political controversy sparked by fliers charging Democrats with racial bias.

“To prevent the African-American community from having a candidate of their own choosing, the Democrat Party spent hundreds of thousands .<EN>.<EN>. to keep Andrew Hardwick off the ballot,”  the flier says.

Hardwick, reached by telephone, said he had nothing to do with the flier but agrees with it 100 percent — except its ending, which says: “Don’t vote for [Democrat Thomas] Suozzi ...  Re-elect Ed Mangano,” and are stamped “PAID FOR BY FRIENDS OF ED MANGANO.

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Hardwick said: “Don’t vote for Mangano, vote for me as a write-in candidate."

Mangano campaign officials denied any involvement with the fliers.

“It's not us,“ said spokesman Brian Nevin. “I do not know who is responsible. We’re trying to figure that out. Certainly, we’re concerned that people are putting fliers out with our name on it.“ He said the campaign has not yet discussed how it planned to respond.

Suozzi said Thursday: “We all know that it’s Mangano. This is obviously an attempt by his campaign to try and make me lose votes from the African-American community. But I’m confident that the communities of color know that I’m the best candidate to fight for them.”