Nassau Democratic county executive candidate George Maragos announced Wednesday that he will run candidates for clerk and comptroller on his own ticket, making party primaries in September likely for all three countywide offices.
The ticket would include county clerk candidate Carl DeHaney Jr., a community services representative in the county’s Department of Human Services. DeHaney was elected in 2014 to the Board of Commissioners in the Town of Hempstead’s Sanitary District 2.
Maragos, serving his second term as comptroller, said he is screening candidates to run for his current post.
“The goal is to present the most qualified and experienced ticket,” said Maragos, who switched his party affiliation last year from Republican to Democrat to run for county executive. “Right now the Democratic ticket is completely unqualified and inexperienced.”
Maragos plans a news conference Thursday in Mineola announcing his ticket.
The announcement comes just days after Nassau Democratic chairman Jay Jacobs, in a letter to county Democrats, criticized Maragos by saying he had a “manipulative and duplicitous side” and warning that his victory in a primary would put Democratic values “at risk.”
Nassau Democrats have endorsed Legis. Laura Curran (D-Baldwin) for county executive, Long Beach City Manager Jack Schnirman for comptroller, and businessman Dean Bennett for clerk.
Assemb. Charles Lavine (D-Glen Cove) is also running for county executive but does not plan to run his own ticket.
Jacobs called Maragos’ positions “abhorrent” and said Democrats “will reject him the same whether he runs alone or as a part of a ticket.”
DeHaney, 50, of Roosevelt, said that if elected, he will address “high fees” in clerk’s office. “With my experience I can take the office to the next level,” said DeHaney, a former Roosevelt School Board trustee.
DeHaney makes $87,467 in Human Services’ Office of the Physically Challenged. He previously worked in Nassau’s social services department.
Bennett runs a Baldwin consulting firm and previously worked for former Nassau County Executive Thomas Suozzi and for Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo as executive director of the Division of Minority and Women Business Development at Empire State Development.
“The voters in Nassau County will decide who deserves their vote,” Bennett in a statement Wednesday.
The Nassau Republican Party is expected to announce its candidate for county executive in coming days. Former GOP Assemblyman Steve Labriola is expected to be the party’s comptroller candidate and County Clerk Maureen O’Connell has announced plans to seek a fourth term.
The Nassau Democratic Committee this week also launched the first of what it says will be numerous advertisements targeting Maragos. The committee paid to sponsor a Facebook post that criticizes Maragos for contributions he gave last year to local Republicans, shortly before he left the GOP. “Don’t be fooled,” the post reads. “Maragos is a Tea Party Republican.”
Maragos strategist Hank Sheinkopf accused Jacobs of “smearing” the comptroller.
With Paul LaRocco