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Suozzi to air 'Sinkhole' TV ad in Nassau exec race

Newsday endorses former Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi

Newsday endorses former Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi for the Sept. 10 Democratic primary. Credit: Steve Pfost

Nassau County executive candidate Thomas Suozzi will on Sunday run his first television ad of the campaign season -- a 30-second spot that touts his management of the county budget a dozen years ago, as Nassau dealt with rising property taxes and soaring debt.

The ad, titled "Sinkhole," will debut on cable stations roughly six weeks before Suozzi faces businessman Adam Haber in the Sept. 10 Democratic primary. The winner will take on Republican Edward Mangano, who defeated Suozzi, a two-term former county executive, in 2009.

Suozzi campaign manager Danny Kazin declined to say how long the advertisement would run or its cost, other than to describe the expenditure as "substantial." Suozzi's campaign has about $2.25 million cash on hand.

The ad ignores Haber but, without mentioning Mangano, takes aim at him as well as past years of Republican rule.

In the ad, a narrator uses news clips to describe the county government's economic condition in 2001 -- after four terms of GOP County Executive Thomas Gulotta -- as a "fiscal sinkhole" buried in "billions in debt."

Suozzi says he made "drastic changes" to improve Nassau's fiscal condition, including slashing the county's workforce, reducing borrowing and streamlining bureaucracy.

He said Nassau earned 13 bond rating upgrades during his watch.

"Now with all the new borrowing and the new debt, we're headed towards another sinkhole," Suozzi says in the ad. "And our kids just can't afford that."

Mangano spokesman Brian Nevin noted that "the ad forgets to mention [Suozzi] hiked property taxes by 23 percent and left behind a billion dollars in debt."

Haber spokesman Galen Alexander added that "no amount of slick advertising will cover up the fact that Suozzi came in under a financial control board, left under a financial control board and raised taxes 23 percent between."

Haber, a Roslyn school board member and retired Wall Street executive, has released two television ads promoting his campaign.

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