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Democrat who came close in 2015 vows to run again this year

John Mangelli, a Bayville attorney who lost to Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto by 99 votes as the Democratic candidate for supervisor in 2015, announced Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017, that he was seeking the nomination from the Democratic and the Independence parties.  (Credit: Newsday / Chuck Fadely)

The candidate who nearly beat former Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto in 2015 said Tuesday he may force a Democratic primary in the 2017 race.

John Mangelli, a Bayville attorney who lost to Venditto by 99 votes as the Democratic candidate for supervisor in 2015, announced Tuesday that he was seeking the nomination from the Democratic and the Independence parties.

“Oyster Bay needs a change and I’m here to help you facilitate that change,” Mangelli said before more than a dozen supporters at this new campaign headquarters in Bethpage. Mangelli said he supports term limits and wants to attract business to the town to increase tax revenue.

Nassau County Democratic Party chairman Jay Jacobs said in an interview the party appreciated Mangelli’s run in 2015 but that this time “we . . . don’t believe we can support him.” Jacobs declined to elaborate on why the party wasn’t supporting Mangelli.

Mangelli said he didn’t want to speculate on why the party wasn’t backing him.

“I fully intend to primary for the Democratic spot,” Mangelli said.

Jacobs said the party would announce an Oyster Bay slate in the next two to three weeks with a supervisor candidate whom “the voters will find meets the need of being someone who can actually fix the finances and end the corruption in Oyster Bay.”

Both Mangelli and Jacobs criticized Supervisor Joseph Saladino as being part of the same Republican political machine of which Venditto was part. The Oyster Bay Town Board last month appointed Saladino, a former assemblyman, to replace Venditto, who resigned after being indicted on federal corruption charges.

“They weren’t handed that position, that leadership, by the people of Oyster Bay. . . . They were handed it by the political power brokers,” Mangelli said of the Saladino administration.

Saladino said their comments were not believable considering that it took four attempts before the board voted to appoint him.

“Clearly I am not a rubber stamp for anyone,” Saladino said.

Saladino said he was already “turning the town of Oyster Bay around.”

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