Long Beach City Manager Jack Schnirman has filed paperwork to create an exploratory committee as the first step in a possible run for Nassau County executive next year.
With the filing of formal paperwork with the New York State Board of Elections, Schnirman, 38, is one of the first Democrats to take that step in a bid for Republican County Executive Edward Mangano’s office.
He said that he has not yet committed to a run, but began exploring a campaign as rumors floated this year that he could lead a Democratic ticket for county executive. He said an exploratory committee is the first step in helping him weigh his options.
“Having grown up on Long Island and making the commitment to raise my family in Nassau County, it’s been clear how special living here can be,” Schnirman said. “That’s why I stand with so many who feel the frustration of Nassau’s failing finances, perpetual scandal and dysfunction. We deserve better and I will listen to all those who feel the desire to move Nassau forward and explore how best I can be of service.”
Mangano has not indicated whether he will seek a third term as county executive since he was first elected in 2009. No Republican challengers have emerged.
As of now, Schnirman faces an open field with no Democratic challengers as yet.
Nassau County Democratic chairman Jay Jacobs said he was impressed with Schnirman’s work in Long Beach and encouraged him and other potential challengers to begin fundraising for a major campaign like county executive.
“I’m not endorsing anyone right now. I’m waiting to see where the field goes,” Jacobs said.
Other possible candidates have been rumored to include Nassau County Legis. Laura Curran (D-Baldwin) and Republican Comptroller George Maragos, who Newsday has reported approached the Nassau County Democratic Committee about switching parties to mount a run.
The Long Beach City Council signed Schnirman to a contract extension in March through the end of 2017 as the city’s chief administrator. Schnirman earns $173,871 annually in the unelected role to manage the city’s finances and operations, while presenting budget proposals and legislative items for the all-Democratic City Council’s review.
City Council members and most Long Beach residents credit Schnirman’s four-year tenure with helping lead the city back from the brink of bankruptcy and in its recovery after 2012’s superstorm Sandy, including rebuilding the boardwalk.
Critics have pointed to the City Council’s restructuring of emergency services to reduce the city’s paid fire department and recent tax increases to meet a court judgment and avoid $2.7 million in cuts. The city has stayed under the tax cap for the past three years.
Schnirman previously served as deputy supervisor to Brookhaven Town Supervisor Brian Foley before leaving in 2008 for the Mineola consulting agency Bowne Management Systems.
He was hired by the new Long Beach Democratic administration after the 2011 election when the city’s credit rating was downgraded five levels to just above junk bond status. Since then, the city has received eight consecutive positive credit ratings.