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Madeline Singas, Kate Murray debate: See what they said

Candidates for Nassau County district attorney, Democrat Madeline

Candidates for Nassau County district attorney, Democrat Madeline Singas, center, and Republican Kate Murray, right, take part in a televised debate at the News 12 Long Island studio in Woodbury on Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015. News 12 anchor Lea Terrell, left, serves as moderator. Photo Credit: Daniel Goodrich

Notable quotes from the debate in the Nassau district attorney's race, held Wednesday night:

KATE MURRAY

Republican, Hempstead Town supervisor

"I will be the tough district attorney Nassau needs."
 
"I have a plan to win the war on heroin."
 
"Bottom line I’m running to be the visionary, the leader."

Murray on not having served as a prosecutor:
 
"The bottom line is take a look at what is going on in Nassau County … the bottom line is that skill set is not serving her well … heroin deaths have gone up … she has not prosecuted one public corruption case."
 
"She has not managed that office well ... the DA’s office is in free fall."

MADELINE SINGAS

Democrat, acting Nassau district attorney

“I have spent the last 24 years as a criminal prosecutor locking up murders, rapists, [and] child abusers.”
 
“I am fighting public corruption and I am rooting out drug dealers and fighting this heroin scourge."
 
“My opponent is a politician ... she has never prosecuted a single criminal case.”

On Murray's experience:

"She wouldn’t know a good prosecutor if one smacked her in the face ... you cannot manage what you don’t understand."
 
"You need to know what it means to be a prosecutor."

Singas: "What kind of DA do you want representing you and your family making you safe … my record 24 years of making sure justice is done, 24 years of standing with victims at their darkest hours."
 
"We need prosecutors who know the job, experience matters."

Murray: "This election is all about leadership … leadership is about setting priorities … it’s about getting results for the citizens of Nassau County, the acting DA does not have leadership experience and it shows."

THE CANDIDATES ON PUBLIC CORRUPTION:

Singas: "Kate Murray has remained silent on public corruption."
 
Murray: “The moment I see anybody doing anything wrong I will absolutely prosecute quickly, swiftly, decisively.”
 
“I turned in a member of my own party … the bottom line is he did something wrong and I didn’t hesitate for a moment.”
 
Singas: "I have made public corruption a top priority in my administration."
 
"When Dean Skelos was indicted, I asked my office to conduct a comprehensive review of Nassau County contractors … Ms. Murray didn’t even bother to read the Skelos indictment … she didn’t even bother to read, to know what’s going on in her own county."
 
"You need independence to investigate public corruption, and I am the only candidate in this race with that independence."

THE CANDIDATES ON DRUGS:

Murray: “We need to keep the drug dealers out so that they’re not in a revolving door of justice.”

Murray: "I have a three-part plan for the heroin issue … the acting DA said she has all these issues in hand, number one, I will not allow and argue forcibly and have my ADA's argue forcibly against putting drug dealers in diversion court."

Singas: “Diversion in this state is controlled by judges … that’s the law … the law also says who is eligible for diversion, not Miss Murray, regardless we have a plan and we have had a plan on how to attack heroin in our community … we know we cannot arrest our way out of this problem. We took out an international drug ring [from Mexico].”

THE CANDIDATES ON POLICE UNION ENDORSEMENTS:

Singas: "I have defended their searches and defended the statements they’ve made … I do not know if my stance on public corruption and police corruption has cost me this endorsement but I don’t care … I’m going to the people, I’m going to the voters."
 
Murray: "All of the men and women in law enforcement in Nassau County, have worked with Madeline Singas for nine years, and not one have endorsed her … I think that speaks volumes."

THE CANDIDATES ON LEGAL PHILOSOPHY BETWEEN GOING TO TRIAL VS. PLEA DEAL:

Singas: “It depends on the type of case, when you’re talking about a special victims case, that is something we consider every day.”
 
“We cannot prosecute every single case … the criminal justice system is not set up that way.”
 
Murray: “I would take a look at the totality of the circumstances.”

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