News, views and commentary on Long Island, state and national politics.
The Nassau County Democratic Party is throwing their support behind Legis. Wayne Wink for comptroller, declining to back Howard Weitzman, who held the office for eight years, or longtime lawmaker Dave Denenberg.
Party Chairman Jay Jacobs said Wink, a Democrat from Roslyn, would take a fresh approach to the comptroller’s office, working beyond auditing and focusing on solving large-scale county budget issues, such as tax assessment debt.
“This was less about not wanting Howard and more about how much we wanted Wayne,” Jacobs said.
The chairman added that Wink would “bring new, fresh ideas and an exciting new perspective on the job of comptroller and the impact it can make on actually solving our county’s problems.”
Wink said he was “looking forward to running a positive campaign as part of a dynamic countywide ticket. Nassau County taxpayers deserve a new kind of comptroller with an agressive agenda of reform.”
Earlier this week, Wink received the endorsements of all but two members of the Nassau Democratic legislative caucus. Only Denenberg, who is mulling his own comptroller run, and Legis. Judi Bosworth (D-Greak Neck), who lives in the same district as Weitzman, declined to support Wink.
Jacobs, who is also backing former County Executive Tom Suozzi for his old seat, said choosing between three friends was difficult but that the party is “looking forward in a new way and breaking with traditions.”
Weitzman served as comptroller from 2001 through 2009, when he lost to the current office holder, Republican George Maragos.
"As Nassau's first CPA comptroller, Howard conducted groundbreaking audits that saved taxpayers millions,' said campaign spokesman Pat McKenna. "Irrespective of who runs this year, we are confident Howard will be re-elected and will build on his remarkable record of achievement as Nassau's comptroller."
Jacobs said he envisions a role for Weitzman in the Suozzi administration, serving in a finance capacity, although he declined to elaborate.
Denenberg did not immediatly return calls for comment.
Jacobs encouraged Denenberg to run for re-election in his revamped 19th district. He noted that Denenenberg is likely the only Democrat who can win in the district, which is now heavily Republican after the GOP passed its redistricting plan.
Democrats will hold their primary in September.