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Democrat Laura Curran gets two police union endorsements; PBA remains silent

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran aceepts the Nassau

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran aceepts the Nassau County Police Superior Officers Association endorsement on Monday in Mineola. Credit: Reece T. Williams

Two Nassau police unions endorsed Nassau County Executive Laura Curran for reelection Monday, while the largest county police union remained silent on its intentions in the race.

Curran, a first-term Democrat, announced endorsements Monday from the county Police Superior Officers Association and the Police Detectives Association.

Curran has signed labor agreements with both those unions since taking office in 2018.

The county still is in negotiations with by far the largest police union, the Police Benevolent Association.

PBA President President Mike Spadaccini did not respond to messages seeking comment Monday.

Nassau also still is negotiating with the county Sheriff Correction Officers Benevolent Association.

Curran faces Hempstead Town Councilman Bruce Blakeman, a Republican, in her bid for a second term.

The endorsements in the county executive race came after the PBA, the superior officers, the correction officers and the detectives union announced their backing of Republican district attorney candidate Anne Donnelly.

Donnelly, a 32-year career prosecutor in the Nassau district attorney's office, faces Democratic State Sen. Todd Kaminsky (D-Long Beach), a former federal prosecutor.

Kaminsky has been endorsed by the Long Beach PBA and the New York State Troopers PBA.

At a news conference in Mineola Monday, county superior officers and detectives association leaders praised Curran's record, citing the reopening of closed police precincts and increases in staffing levels.

John Wighaus, detectives' union president, said Curran had worked to fix an issue with detectives' compensation that made it difficult to recruit officers to apply for promotions.

Since the new contract was struck, the department has promoted 120 detectives, Wighaus said.

"What County Executive Laura Curran did with that contract is good governance," Wighaus said.

Wighaus also cited Curran's performance during the coronavirus pandemic.

"During that dangerous period, Laura Curran was present," Wighaus said. "She was keeping our residents calm, and informed, while knowingly placing herself in danger."

"

Ricky Frassetti, Superior Officers Association president, said while Curran "and I might not always agree on everything, she always listens and is willing to work things out."

Frassetti applauded Curran for opening police precincts in Manhasset and Levittown that were closed in a merger under the administration of former County Executive Edward Mangano.

Blakeman, in a statement, did not directly address the endorsements.

Instead, he referred to a central theme of his campaign: Curran's countywide property reassessment program.

"No amount of endorsements can overshadow the county executive's massive reassessment tax hikes, which are slamming Nassau homeowners," Blakeman said.

In December, members of the Nassau PBA narrowly rejected a new contract with the county.

The Nassau County Legislature has agreed to a provision to allow PBA members to receive $3,000 stipends for wearing body cameras while the county and PBA leaders continue to negotiate an overall labor agreement.

In her successful race in 2017 against former Republican State Sen. Jack Martins, Curran did not have the backing of any of the county's major unions.

Also Monday, Nassau officials touted U.S. News & World Report's "Healthiest Communities Analysis" for the second year in a row.

The survey bases its ratings on per capita spending on health and emergency services.

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