Assemb. Charles Lavine, a Democrat from Glen Cove, says he will run for Nassau County executive in 2017, saying “a responsible adult” is needed to manage the county and bring honesty back to government.
Also, Democratic county Legis. Laura Curran will hold a news conference at her Baldwin home Tuesday, where she is expected to declare her candidacy for county executive.
Lavine, 69, filed paperwork with the state Board of Elections Monday to form a campaign committee.
“It’s time we have an executive who is a responsible adult,” Lavine said in an interview. “The people of Nassau want to see a responsible government.”
It was a reference to Republican County Executive Edward Mangano, who is facing federal corruption and bribery charges in connection with his dealings with a Bethpage restaurateur. Mangano’s wife, Linda Mangano, and Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto also were charged. All three have pleaded not guilty.
Lavine, who last week won election to a seventh term in the 13th Assembly District, said his campaign would focus on ethics and government reform. “I want to reorganize Nassau County government to make it more efficient,” he said.
Nassau Democratic Party Chairman Jay Jacobs called Lavine “very talented. He is someone who has a full understanding of these issues and will be a formidable candidate.”
Lavine joins a growing field of Democrats interested in Nassau’s top elected office.
In September, County Comptroller George Maragos changed his party affiliation from Republican to Democrat and declared his candidacy.
Long Beach City Manager Jack Schnirman created an exploratory committee, but has yet to declare his candidacy.
Curran, who is serving her second term in the legislature, is expected to an announce her candidacy Tuesday, according to two Democratic sources.
“It’s clear that Nassau County needs a fresh start,” Curran said Monday, declining to elaborate on her intentions.
It’s unclear who county Republicans plan to nominate for county executive in 2017.
Mangano has vowed not to resign and says he will decide whether to run for re-election early next year.
Other possible GOP candidates include ex-Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray, who lost a race for district attorney last year; State Sen. Jack Martins, who lost his bid in the Third Congressional District last week, and Hempstead Town Councilman Bruce Blakeman.
Nassau Democrats will wait until after the Jan. 15 campaign filing deadline before deciding if they will endorse a candidate, Jacobs said.
The party wants to avoid a repeat of 2013’s acrimonious county executive primary between Thomas Suozzi and businessman Adam Haber, said Jacobs. Suozzi, a former two-term Nassau County executive, beat Haber but lost to Mangano.
Lavine said he expects the race to be “extremely expensive.” The 2013 campaign between Mangano and Suozzi, who beat Martins last week, was the most expensive in Long Island history, with the candidates spending a combined $10 million.
Lavine worked as an attorney for the Legal Aid Society and later opened a private law practice in Queens and Manhattan.
In 2000, he was appointed to the Glen Cove Planning Board and later was selected to fill a vacancy on the Glen Cove City Council. He was elected to the Assembly in 2004.
Lavine is chairman of the Assembly’s Committee on Ethics and Guidance and serves as co-chairman of the State Legislative Ethics Commission. He does not plan to resign his Assembly seat while campaigning for county executive.