Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano, who is facing federal corruption charges, is unlikely to be renominated for a third term, and potential replacements include former state Sen. Jack Martins, County Clerk Maureen O’Connell and Hempstead Town Councilman Bruce Blakeman, according to two Republican sources familiar with the party’s thinking.
The Nassau Republican Committee expects to pick its slate of countywide candidates for 2017 in the next four to six weeks, said one of the sources, who declined to be identified.
“It’s hard to foresee a circumstance or a set of facts where Mangano would be running again with the party’s imprimatur,” the source said.
The party has not asked Mangano to step down before his term is up at year’s end, the source said. But with the GOP’s nominating convention scheduled for May — and four possible Democratic candidates already raising money for county executive campaigns — Republicans appear ready to move on from Mangano, a former Nassau County legislator.
“There is no one in the party that doesn’t think he needs to go,” said the other GOP source. “This is a business of practicality and Mangano is an albatross.”
Mangano, county executive since 2010, questioned the loyalty of some GOP officials and said he would make a decision about running for a third term in “due time.”
He said in an interview Tuesday that “This business breeds aggressive disloyalty. It’s not unexpected that some anonymous sources tend to be self-serving.”
Federal prosecutors in October charged Mangano with receiving “bribes and kickbacks” from a businessman who also gave Mangano’s wife, Linda, a lucrative no-show job. Prosecutors also charged Linda Mangano and then-Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto in the case. The Manganos and Venditto have pleaded not guilty.
One of the GOP sources said the party is in “complete disarray” as it seeks to replace Mangano and find another candidate.
Party leaders including county GOP chairman Joseph Mondello, Nassau OTB chairman Joseph Cairo and former Sen. Alfonse D’Amato all have preferred candidates and do not yet agree on a nominee, the source said.
Mondello declined an interview request while D’Amato and Cairo did not respond to requests for comment.
Blakeman, the former presiding officer of the county legislature, “has given every indication that he is interested” in running, one of the sources said.
Martins, a former Mineola mayor who served three terms in the State Senate before losing a bid for Congress in November to Democrat Thomas Suozzi, would consider the job, one of the sources said.
Some in the party, the sources said, support O’Connell, a former assemblywoman who is completing her third term as clerk, while others back Hempstead Town Receiver of Taxes Don Clavin. Former Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray is not expected to vie for the job, the sources said.
Blakeman declined to comment through a Hempstead Town spokesman. Clavin, Martins and O’Connell did not respond to requests for comment.
The GOP sources said Mangano’s legal troubles have hurt the party and its ability to hold on to the county executive post. “He has done long-term damage,” one said. “This has become a salvage operation and not a rescue operation.”
On the Democratic side, Nassau Comptroller George Maragos, Assemb. Charles Lavine of Glen Cove and Legis. Laura Curran of Baldwin have announced candidacies for county executive. Long Beach City Manager Jack Schnirman is exploring a run.
The only Republican to show interest in a run for comptroller is Legis. Howard Kopel (R-Lawrence). Former Assemb. Steven Labriola, the chief compliance officer in Nassau’s Office of Management and Budget, was believed to be interested in a run but is now eyeing other roles, one of the GOP sources said.