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Nassau Democrats nominate Glen Cove Mayor Reginald Spinello, an Independence party member

Reginald Spinello, mayor of the City of Glen

Reginald Spinello, mayor of the City of Glen Cove, speaks during a meeting of the city council at Glen Cove City Hall on the evening of May 5, 2015. Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

The Nassau County Democratic Party's endorsement of incumbent Glen Cove Mayor Reginald Spinello means the party will not field a mayoral candidate in the former Democratic stronghold.

"We decided to cross endorse Spinello because we thought he's done a good job," said Jay Jacobs, Nassau County Democratic Party chairman. "We thought he's been acting in a very nonpartisan way, so we're comfortable with that."

Democratic support for Spinello, an Independence party member who is also running atop the Republican ticket, includes campaign money, but Jacobs did not specify an amount. "If necessary, the Democratic Party will help out in Glen Cove, and he'll be a beneficiary of that too," Jacobs said.

Jacobs said other Democrats were interested in running for the spot, but "we run the best candidate we believe will be elected and will do the job."

The endorsement also means Spinello's biggest challenge will come from Republican City Councilman Anthony Gallo Jr., who has announced plans to run against the mayor in a primary.

The two were allies when both won seats on the City Council in 2011, but they've frequently clashed over issues ranging from appointments to the formation of a charter review commission since Spinello defeated former Mayor Ralph Suozzi, a Democrat, in 2013.

Spinello said the Democratic endorsement reflects his success working across the aisle.

"The Democrats have also recognized that good government trumps politics, and I'm trying to do what's right in the city," Spinello said. "I'm a centrist who leans to the right. My agenda is all about Glen Cove."

Gallo said he was not surprised by the endorsement, framing his own candidacy as an insurgency against the political establishment.

"The good old pals network runs the city of Glen Cove," Gallo said in a statement. Gallo said Spinello is "selling out the people of Glen Cove to the political powers in order to keep his position as mayor."

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