Long Beach Democratic chairman Mike Zapson is rejecting new calls for his resignation and vowing to stay on as city chairman, even as he expects to be forced out of the Nassau County Democratic Committee.
Long Beach voters elected a slate of Democratic Committee members for the Long Beach zone Thursday that were selected by Nassau County Democratic chairman Jay Jacobs, Zapson's nemesis. The candidates were uncontested after a Brooklyn appellate judge declared invalid Zapson's committee petitions for Long Beach.
The Long Beach Zone has 10 days from Thursday's election to convene for a vote on the next Long Beach Zone chairman, covering the city and surrounding barrier island communities of Atlantic Beach, Point Lookout and Lido Beach.
The new committee members are expected to elect Long Beach attorney Rob Solomon as the next Long Beach zone chairman, but the committee is not scheduled to vote to replace Zapson as city chairman until sometime next year.
"I do believe I will not be a member of Jay's organization any longer, but I will continue to be the chairman of the Long Beach Democratic Committee," Zapson said Friday. "We have always operated separately. We have our own volunteers and work very hard to get Democrats elected."
But Nassau County officials say the two groups are mutually exclusive, and Zapson does not have separate authority outside the county's Democratic Committee.
"Mike Zapson might technically remain the city leader, but clearly he has no troops," Nassau County Democratic Party spokeswoman Bonnie Garone said.
Zapson said he will continue to collect petitions and nominate the city committee's own slate of candidates to run for the Democratic nomination in elections.
Nassau Democrats declared victory in Thursday's primary after they were able to nominate challenger Anissa Moore to the open City Council seat vacated in November by Councilwoman Fran Adelson, who is not seeking re-election.
Moore is running with incumbents Len Torres and Anthony Eramo, who were backed by Zapson. Jacobs backed Eramo but not Torres. Eramo also appeared on Moore's nominating petition.
Both Zapson and Nassau party officials are backing the three primary victors in the general election versus Republican challengers Angelo Lomonte, Catherine Quinn and Brian Higgins.
Nassau Democrats last week again called on Zapson to resign, so the party can focus on the November election.
"Our goal for the party is unity, we think he [Zapson] should get out of the way," Garone said. "What's best for Long Beach is unity."