A Woodbury dentist and past president of the Syosset School Board will likely be the Democratic Party choice as candidate for Oyster Bay supervisor this fall, Nassau Democratic chairman Jay Jacobs said Thursday.
Marc W. Herman, 63, of Woodbury “is a professional,” Jacobs said. Besides running his dental practice, he also headed a school board “known to be one of the best in the country. He ran it as such and was re-elected multiple times. He has a strong community interest.”
Herman still must be nominated by the Democratic Party committee, but Jacobs said he is “confident” that Herman will be the candidate.
Herman said he was, “very interested in running for supervisor in Oyster Bay. I feel really strongly there needs to be a fresh start in the town. I know I can do it, and I can do it well. I’m very flattered they’re considering me and look forward to supporting whatever their decision is.”
Longtime Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto, a Republican, resigned in January to fight federal corruption charges. Venditto is accused of soliciting and accepting bribes from restaurateur and former town concessionaire Harendra Singh in return for helping him obtain town guarantees on $20 million in loans.
The Republican town board appointed former Assemb. Joseph Saladino, a Massapequa Republican, to take Venditto’s place. Saladino is expected to be the Republican nominee for supervisor this fall.
Whoever is elected supervisor will be taking over a town facing “severe fiscal stress,” according to the state comptroller. Last April, Standard and Poors downgraded the town’s credit to junk status, citing a decade of deficits and weak financial management while Moody’s Investor Services in January assigned the town its lowest investor grade ranking. The town faces an SEC investigation and a grand jury probe by Nassau District Attorney Madeline Singas.
The Democratic Party had considered nominating Carolyn Mazzu Genovesi, an attorney from Glen Head who works for the grievance committee for 10th Judicial District, which oversees lawyers conduct. But Genovesi dropped out of consideration when she was appointed last week as a member of the town’s newly formulated ethics board.
Jacobs said one of the reasons the party is not renominating John Mangelli, the Democratic candidate against Venditto two years ago, is because the Bayville attorney filed for personal bankruptcy in the past. Democratic research and public records show that Mangelli filed for bankruptcy in 2007, closed the case that same year, but reopened it in 2008 to negotiate new terms for an outstanding student loan. The case was discharged in 2009.
“Everybody can fall on hard times and filing for bankruptcy in the private world is excusable, but when you running for a public position that has as its rationale your ability to stave off a town bankruptcy and turn around its finances, it doesn’t make sense,” Jacobs said. “I think it creates too great a vulnerability.”
“In addition,” Jacobs said, “some of the comments he has publicly stated, I think compounds the problem.”
Jacobs was referring to statements Mangelli made when he ran for U.S. Senate in 2012 as a Common Sense Party candidate that now sound much like Donald Trump’s positions. He said he wanted to make “America first;” and he declared himself anti-abortion “with exceptions of rape, disease and the mother’s life.” He said, “We need a comprehensible immigration reform,” and said, “I don’t believe you should be forced to buy health insurance.”
Mangelli said Thursday he stands by those comments, pointing out that he was addressing “federal issues,” not local concerns.
He added that he had disclosed his bankruptcy before he was nominated for supervisor two years ago and came close to defeating Venditto.
“I do not feel that disqualifies me,” Mangelli said. “It makes me a better candidate. I went through the trials and tribulations of raising a family and starting a business in Oyster Bay, and I have experienced what millions of people are experiencing now and then all over the county and in Oyster Bay.
“I have direct knowledge of how to climb out of that hole, how to readjust finances and to move forward in life,” he said.
Mangelli said he intends to run a primary against the Democratic Party’s choice for supervisor.