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Nassau GOP taps state Sen. Jack Martins as county exec candidate

Former state Sen. Jack Martins speaks on Thursday

Former state Sen. Jack Martins speaks on Thursday night, May 18, 2017, at the Nassau GOP's convention in Levittown, where the party nominated him to be its candidate for Nassau County executive. Credit: Danielle Finkelstein

Nassau Republicans on Thursday nominated former state Sen. Jack Martins as their county executive candidate, cementing their split from incumbent Edward Mangano, the party’s longtime standard-bearer now facing corruption charges.

At the county convention at Levittown’s Wisdom Lane School, the party committee chose Martins to lead its ticket this fall without any noticeable dissent from the floor.

In his acceptance speech, Martins, 49, of Old Westbury, never mentioned Mangano but alluded to a need to refocus voters concerned about corruption cases on what he called core Republican values of smart fiscal management and prioritizing public safety.

“Let’s be proud to be Republicans,” said Martins, who also served as Mineola mayor and last year lost a race for a seat in the U.S. House. “Let’s go out there and tell people what it is to be a Republican.”

Martins announced his candidacy for county executive in April.

Mangano, who was first elected in 2009, has yet to confirm he won’t run in a primary this fall for a third term. He was not present at the convention. Instead, he attended a scheduled fundraiser supporting a program that houses the pets of domestic violence victims.

Mangano is charged with receiving bribes and kickbacks from a restaurateur, Harendra Singh, in exchange for favors including a county contract. He has pleaded not guilty.

A spokesman for Mangano did not respond Thursday to requests for comment about his intentions, but Nassau GOP chairman Joseph Mondello said after the convention that he wouldn’t pressure the county executive to step aside or not run.

“I think Ed should do what he wants to do,” Mondello said, noting that Mangano has not been convicted.

Martins said after the convention that he was not worried about a “wave election,” where candidates untouched by scandal would be unable to counter a public sentiment that the county’s entire power structure needs to shift.

“I’m so confident in the electorate of Nassau County,” he said, while noting that his first priority would be “restoring trust in government.”

The Nassau GOP made several other notable changes official Thursday, including tapping Assemb. Thomas McKevitt (R-East Meadow) to succeed retiring 13th District Legis. Norma Gonsalves, the county Legislature’s presiding officer; and choosing John Ferretti Jr., a deputy county clerk, to succeed 15th District Legis. Dennis Dunne.

Dunne is running instead for Hempstead Town Board.

Joining Martins on the countywide ticket are comptroller candidate Steve Labriola, a former assemblyman and Oyster Bay Town clerk who now works for Mangano, and incumbent county clerk Maureen O’Connell.

Democrats will formally nominate their candidates later this month and are expected to back Legis. Laura Curran of Baldwin for county executive over her primary opponents, Assemb. Charles Lavine of Glen Cove and George Maragos, the county comptroller who switched parties last year.

Nassau Republican candidates

County Executive: Jack Martins

County Comptroller: Steve Labriola

County Clerk: Maureen O’Connell


1st District: Charlene Thompson

2nd District: James Lamarre

3rd District: Candidate to be determined

4th District: Denise Ford

5th District: Kathleen Spatz

6th District: William Gaylor

7th District: Howard Kopel

8th District: Vincent Muscarella

9th District: Richard Nicolello

10th District: David Adhami

11th District: Zefy Christopoulos

12th District: James Kennedy

13th District: Thomas McKevitt

14th District: Laura Schaefer

15th District: John Ferretti Jr.

16th District: Angel Cepeda

17th District: Rose Walker

18th District: Donald MacKenzie

19th District: Steven Rhoads


Supervisor: Anthony Santino

Town Council

1st District: Alfred Cittadino

4th District: Anthony D’Esposito

6th District: Dennis Dunne

Town Clerk: Nasrin Ahmad


Supervisor: Joseph Saladino

Town Council: Michele Johnson, Louis Imbroto, Thomas Hand

Town Clerk: James Altadonna Jr.


Supervisor: Stephen Nasta

Town Council

1st District: Ursula Babino

3rd District: Angelo Ferrara

5th District: Richard DeMartino

Town Clerk: David Redmond


Mayor: Reginald Spinello

Council members: Pamela Panzenbeck, Joseph Capobianco, Nicholas DiLeo Jr., Matthew Connolly, Michael Zangari, Kevin Maccarone


Council members: Leah Rosensweig Tozer, Christopher Jones, William Haas


County Court: Jerald Carter, Christopher Quinn

Family Court: Candidate to be determined

1st District Court: Candidate to be determined

2nd District Court: Gary Knobel, Anthony Paradiso, and one candidate to be determined

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