Nassau PBA to stay neutral in county executive race

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Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano, left, and former Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano, left, and former County Executive Tom Suozzi. Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

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The Nassau Police Benevolent Association has announced that it will not endorse a candidate in the race between County Executive Edward Mangano and his Democratic opponent, Thomas Suozzi, citing the ongoing contractual negotiations with the county.

The PBA and other county unions — most of whom are also staying neutral in the race — are negotiating with Mangano and the Nassau Interim Finance Authority over a new labor contract.

“Our primary focus is to have our wages and steps reinstated,” said PBA president James Carver.

Mangano’s campaign declined to comment on the decision while a Suozzi spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.

Mangano will take on Suozzi, a former two-term county executive, on Nov. 5.

The union, Carver said, would not have been able to back Mangano after he downsized three police precincts and tried to pass a bill allowing him to alter closed union contracts.

In 2009, Suozzi’s last year in office, he threatened to lay off 870 county employees, including 250 police officers, if unions did not agree to a 7 percent pay cut.

The PBA stayed out of the race, which Mangano won by 386 votes.

The PBA backed Suozzi in his initial run for county executive in 2001 but supported his Republican opponent, former Hempstead Town Supervisor Gregory Peterson, in 2005.

Last week, leaders of the Civil Service Employees Association, the Detectives Association Inc. and the Superior Officers Association also said they will not make endorsements in the race.

The Correction Officers Benevolent Association and the Nassau Community College Federation of Teachers have made endorsements, backing Suozzi.

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