Newcomer vs. Newly Elected / 19th District gears up for tight contest

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In what could be one of Nassau County's tightest races, a

political newcomer hopes to unseat the 19th Assembly District incumbent,

himself a newcomer when he won a special election eight months ago.

An optimistic Michael Moore, the Democratic candidate, berates his

opponent, Assemb. David McDonough (R-Merrick) as a purveyor of "special

interest Republican politics as usual."

"McDonough was in office 38 days when he voted to raise taxes and fees on

working people by a total of $457 million," Moore, a senior court officer

sergeant, said.

Moore, 44, said he has learned from knocking on thousands of doors in the

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district - covering most of Merrick, North Merrick, Bellmore and North Bellmore

as well as parts of Wantagh, North Wantagh, Levittown, Seaford, East Meadow,

Freeport and Baldwin Harbor - "that people are scared about skyrocketing taxes,

the quality of education and affordable health care."

Registered Republicans outnumber Democrats 42,518 to 24,497, but in

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February's special election to fill the seat, which was vacated by Kate Murray

who became Hempstead Town clerk, more voters pulled the Democrats' lever than

the GOP's - 4,972 to 4,773. The 140 Independence voters and 527 Conservatives

were McDonough's winning margin over his opponent Steven November, who got 103

Green Party votes and 111 Working Families' ballots.

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McDonough again has the Independence and Conservative lines while Moore has

Working Families.

Moore, who lives in Merrick with his wife, Jacqueline, and their two

teenage daughters, said the district needs somebody who will be proactive.

"That's me. I can make a difference for Nassau County families victimized by

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skyrocketing taxes and fiscal mismanagement," he said. "We don't need another

political insider going up to Albany to represent us."

But McDonough, 65, said Moore is distorting the facts. "I'm nobody's

insider," he said. "Until this year, my connection to politics had never been

more than trying to help some friends get elected."

McDonough, president of a Merrick-based adjustment and collection service

firm, said the $457-million tax and fee figure used by Moore is distorted. "Of

that, $250 million was the New York City cigarette tax ... something like a

sin tax. And 46 percent of that goes to the state to be distributed to the

counties for health care," he added. Moreover, said McDonough, $103 million was

for Nassau and requested by County Executive Thomas Suozzi.

"In fact, not a dollar of that money was a general tax or fee that hit

everybody. Much of it was for sportsmen, or county clerk filing fees or alcohol

beverage licensing fees ..." he said.

"And Mr. Moore doesn't mention that I voted for $311 million in tax cuts

this year, supported authorization of $1 billion in additional tax cuts over

the next three years and an increase in state aid to schools this year [of]

more than $500 million over last year."

McDonough, who has three grown children with his wife, Carolyn, said he is

running on his experience to "keep fighting for school aid in this district,

helping seniors, and attracting businesses and jobs to our downtown areas."

Moore, vice president of the Court Officers Benevolent Association of

Nassau County, is its lobbyist in Albany. "I know how to be effective in the

legislative environment," he said.

Both candidates are out every day walking the district, and each has

numerous endorsements: Moore is backed by the major court officers associations

in the state and on Long Island as well as the New York State Troopers

Benevolent Association and the Uniformed Public Safety Coalition. Others that

support him include the state Civil Service Employees Association and American

Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees and Local 1199 of the

Service Employees International Union.

McDonough, former president of the Nassau County Council of Chambers of

Commerce, has the endorsement of the Nassau County Police Benevolent

Association, Superior Officers Association, Sheriff Officers Association, and

New York Fraternal Order of Police, among others.

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