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Gov. Cuomo hobnobs with local pols at Great Neck parade

Gov. Andrew Cuomo shares a moment with Yolanda

Gov. Andrew Cuomo shares a moment with Yolanda Dornbush of Malverne, during a Memorial Day parade in Great Neck Monday May 30, 2016. Photo Credit: Chris Ware

Democratic candidates vying for the 3rd Congressional District also vied Monday for the attention of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, who attended a Memorial Day parade with them near the border of Great Neck and Queens.

Cuomo said he had “a lot of old friends” among the paradegoers and politicians who showed up at the 89th annual Douglaston-Little Neck Parade, which drew former Nassau County Executive and Glen Cove Mayor Thomas Suozzi, ex-North Hempstead Town Supervisor Jon Kaiman, North Hempstead Councilwoman Anna Kaplan, and Suffolk County Legis. Steve Stern (D-Dix Hills). They, along with Jericho attorney Jonathan Clarke, are competing to replace retiring Rep. Steve Israel (D-Huntington) in a June 28 primary.

The parade started in the home turf of Great Neck residents Kaplan and Kaiman, then proceeded into Queens. With less than a month until the primary, volunteers for Kaiman and Stern held signs for their candidates on opposite sides of the intersection of where Buttonwood Road meets Northern Boulevard, near the Nassau-Queens border.

Cuomo spoke with some of the contenders, telling Suozzi it was “great to see you”and posing for a photo with Kaiman and his son. But he has not endorsed any candidate for Israel’s seat.

He had appointed Kaiman to two state posts in 2013, asking him to oversee Long Island’s storm recovery and making him chairman of the Nassau Interim Finance Authority. Kaiman resigned those posts earlier this year to run for Congress.

While Cuomo said “it’s a great parade, I have a lot of fun, I have a lot of old friends.” He added “there’s also a serious message today — which is we remember, we celebrate, we commemorate the people who gave their lives so we can live the life we live.”

He said New Yorkers “have a special burden” to remember the sacrifices of military personnel, “because 9/11 happened here, and 9/11 was the most recent attack in this country, where this country opened its eyes once again to the threat that is out there.”

He added, “Let us lead the way as an honor to the 9/11 families who we lost, and the 9/11 victims, so that we take this seriously and 9/11 becomes part of the ongoing Memorial Day tribute.”

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