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Law enforcement support for Kate Murray's Nassau district attorney campaign reached a crescendo Tuesday with the announcement that the New York City Police Benevolent Association and others from outside the county were joining Nassau police unions in their endorsement.
Dozens of police union officials crowded the parking lot outside Nassau PBA offices in Mineola to claim a "clean sweep" of more than 25 law enforcement unions backing Murray over her Democratic opponent, acting District Attorney Madeline Singas. Some unions have criticized Singas for touting convictions of "corrupt police officers" in a recent piece of political literature.
"By getting together, we're sending the strong message to everybody that law enforcement is 1,000 percent behind Kate Murray," said Nassau PBA President James Carver, whose union announced its endorsement in July.
Carver estimated that between the unions - which represent officers from Nassau, Suffolk, New York City, the State Police and various cities and villages in Nassau - there were more than 10,000 members, active and retired, who live in Nassau.
"That's a significant voting bloc here," Carver said.
New York City PBA President Patrick Lynch did not attend the event. On the union's behalf, a financial secretary, Joseph Rao, said the union was "proud to back the Nassau County PBA in their support and endorsement of a pro-law-enforcement candidate in Kate Murray."
Carver, as he has in past endorsement events, said police officers back Murray primarily because of her campaign pledge to more aggressively prosecute heroin dealers as a way to stem a rise in fatal addictions.
But he acknowledged that Singas' previous statement on the piece of campaign literature was on members' minds.
"She made it look like she was jumping on the national trend of bashing police officers, instead of what I believe - and what polls have shown: that Long Islanders have a strong support of police officers," Carver said.
Singas spokesman Isaac Goldberg responded by continuing to hammer the campaign's prime attack on Murray, who has been Hempstead Town supervisor since 2003.
"Madeline Singas has spent over two decades in law enforcement as a criminal prosecutor, and no amount of endorsements can hide the fact that career politician Kate Murray has never practiced criminal law a day in her life, has never prosecuted a single criminal case, and hasn't practiced law in 17 years," Goldberg said.
Murray said she appreciated the police unions' "full-throated" endorsement.
"These unions stretch the length and breadth of our state," she said. "They're on the street level, the state level, New York City, Nassau County, Suffolk County, Long Island cities, our local villages and many other places as well. So I certainly appreciate the confidence that their members have placed in me."