Four of the five Democratic Long Beach City Council members have called on the city's embattled party leader, Michael Zapson, to resign.
The request by council president Len Torres, retiring vice president Fran Adelson, council members Scott Mandel and Eileen Goggin, and Democratic City Council candidate Anissa Moore, follows calls from Nassau County Democratic chairman Jay Jacobs for Zapson to surrender his post.
"For the good of all Long Beach Democrats, we're asking you to step down as Long Beach leader and transition the Long Beach Committee to new leadership," they wrote in a letter. "There would be no benefit to anyone to stage a contentious vote . . . when the Long Beach committee members now seek to go in a new direction."
Zapson said he received the undated letter Friday. He said he is no longer part of Jacobs' organization and may consider quitting the city leadership after the election.
Voters nominated council member Anthony Eramo, Torres and Moore to run on the Democratic ticket versus the Republican slate of Brian Higgins, Angelo Lomonte and Catherine Quinn.
"Everybody felt strongly that I should not step down during campaign season and focus on getting our three candidates elected," Zapson said. "I told them I would step down after the election, but the Democratic leader has one job -- to get Democrats elected."
The lone missing signature on the letter was that of Eramo, whom Zapson backed for the nomination. He said he was focused on electing a united slate.
Torres said he asked for his name to be removed from the letter after meeting with Zapson and the Long Beach Democratic Club. He said he agreed that Zapson should step down after the election. "Members of the club say now is not the right time, and they didn't have a leader ready to step in," he said.
Jacobs and the Nassau County Democratic Party have nominated Long Beach committee member and attorney Rob Soloman, but Torres said he has not been endorsed by Long Beach Democrats.
The Nassau County Democratic Committee obtained a court order in August to void Zapson's committee members, in favor of Jacobs' committee nominees, to elect party leaders. Nassau County party officials have said Long Beach Democrats cannot operate alone and have no power separate from the county committee.
"The party will be strongly supporting the candidates who support reform in Long Beach," Nassau County Democratic Committee spokeswoman Bonnie Garone said.