A third contender to run as the Democratic candidate for Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor threw his hat into the ring on Thursday.
Jonathan Clarke, 39, a Jericho attorney, said at a news conference in Bethpage that he wanted to “stand up to the party bosses to ensure that the democracy that we bring is a democracy that is not polluted by special interests and corruption.”
In a primary Clarke would face Nassau Democratic Party pick Marc Herman, a dentist and former Syosset School Board president, and John Mangelli, an attorney who ran against former Supervisor John Venditto in 2015 and lost by 99 votes. The primary winner would face Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino, a Republican, in November.
Standing in front of the now closed restaurant that was indicted former town concessionaire Harendra Singh’s flagship restaurant, Clarke railed against both Saladino and Nassau Democratic Party chairman Jay Jacobs. Clarke accused Jacobs of choosing candidates “without consulting the people.” Venditto resigned in January to focus on his legal defense in corruption charges related to the Singh concessions.
Jacobs said that the party screening process was performed properly and Clarke had an opportunity to be screened. “Nothing was done behind closed doors,” Jacobs said.
Mangelli, who was passed over by the party, concurred with Clarke in his criticism of the party.
“I do welcome fair competition,” Mangelli said. “Both parties are controlling the candidacies and putting people in place that benefit the party.”
Clarke said that the Oyster Bay government was corrupt and cited a recent town mailing that has been criticized as being overtly political.
Saladino said Democrats were playing politics.
“The only reason they’re saying any of this is petty political motivations,” Saladino said, adding that his administration was “turning things around.”
Clarke was introduced by Nassau Comptroller George Maragos, who is running an insurgent campaign to be the Democratic candidate for Nassau County Executive.