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Edward Mangano fundraising dwindles

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano in Freeport on

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano in Freeport on July 18, 2017. Credit: Howard Schnapp

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano, a Republican who is fighting federal corruption charges, received no campaign contributions over the last six months, a period in which his party declined to endorse him for re-election and his top staff began to depart.

Reports filed Wednesday with the state Board of Elections show Mangano collected $2,288 between Jan. 14 and July 13 — all from interest generated by his $1 million campaign bank account.

The fundraising period is the first since Mangano won election in 2009 in which he collected no money from supporters. He once raised $1.5 million in a six-month span.

Mangano did not submit petitions to force a GOP primary against the party’s choice for county executive, former State Sen. Jack Martins.

Mangano this week also lost a chance to get the influential Independence Party line in the general election, after the party failed to collect enough signatures.

Mangano still could distribute petitions to run as an independent candidate on his own ballot line. He has until Aug. 22 to do so, although some Nassau GOP officials have suggested the task will be difficult without the help of the GOP organization.

Still, Mangano hinted at the possibility outside an event Tuesday.

“There’s other ways to run if you wanted to, but I can’t get into that now,” he told reporters.

Mangano’s campaign spent $193,149 since Jan. 14, most of it at local restaurants for purposes described as meetings or “constituent services.”

The single largest expense indicated that Mangano as recently as this month was thinking of his political future.

On July 7, the campaign paid $46,000 to WPAi, an Oklahoma City political polling and analytical firm that claims Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas as a client.

The date of the payment was about 10 days before Mangano would have had to turn in petitions to force a Republican primary.

A spokesman for Mangano declined to comment Wednesday about the polling expense or Mangano’s lack of fundraising.

Many of Mangano’s most loyal donors over the last eight years, including county contractors, have instead given money in recent months to Martins and Democratic county executive candidate Laura Curran, campaign reports show.

Mangano pleaded not guilty in October to federal charges of receiving bribes and kickbacks from indicted restaurateur Harendra Singh in return for county work. Mangano has pleaded not guilty and his trial is scheduled for January.

Mangano’s expenses during this period did not include any additional payments to his criminal defense attorney, Garden City based Kevin Keating. Since 2015, Mangano had paid $330,000 in campaign funds to Keating, records show.

With Robert Brodsky

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