The Nassau Republican Party has expanded its search for potential county executive candidates to include Hempstead Town Councilwoman Erin King Sweeney, the daughter of Rep. Peter King, and Leg. Laura Schaefer of Westbury, according to a GOP source familiar with the party’s deliberations.
The party has began polling Republican voters on a potential King Sweeney or Schaefer candidacy, the source said.
Results of the poll are not clear but the GOP is expected to pick a county executive candidate in the next two weeks, the source said.
The other names under consideration are former State Sen. Jack Martins, County Clerk Maureen O’Connell, Hempstead Town Councilman Bruce Blakeman and Hempstead Town Receiver Don Clavin.
The source said all of the names “are still in the mix. The party is weighing all options.”
King Sweeney, 43, of Wantagh, said the party should pick a “forward thinking” candidate but that she is “happy” in her role with the town.
“I am honored to be considered,” she said.
King Sweeney was appointed to the Hempstead Town Board in January 2015 and elected to a full four-year term in November 2015. She raised her profile in December when she joined her father in a meeting at Trump Tower with then President-Elect Donald Trump.
King Sweeney is a partner at the law firm of Eckert Seamans in White Plains and president of King Sweeney Strategies LLC, a consulting business.
King (R-Seaford) said he has not discussed a potential county executive run with his daughter or with Nassau Republican Chairman Joseph Mondello. King said that although the GOP recognizes the need for a fresh face, he would be “surprised” if his daughter were picked.
“But I think she would be good at whatever she wants to do,” King said.
Mondello did not respond to a request for comment.
Schaefer, a lawyer at Walsh Markus McDougal & DeBellis LLP, in Garden City, was elected to the 14th District seat in 2013 and re-elected in 2015.
She was one of the leading critics against a planned video lottery parlor at the former Fortunoff site in Westbury. Nassau Regional Off-Track Betting Corp. scrapped the plan after intense community opposition.
“Right now I intend to be running for re-election as a member of the legislature, but I am certainly flattered to be considered,” Schaefer said in a statement.
Sources told Newsday in January that the GOP would not renominate Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano, who has pleaded not guilty to federal corruption charges, for a third term. But Mangano has yet to make his intentions known as he has left open the possibility of running a primary against the GOP nominee.
A Mangano spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.
Nassau Democrats plan to nominate second-term Legis. Laura Curran (D-Baldwin) as their county executive candidate. She faces a primary against Assemb. Charles Lavine (D-Glen Cove) and County Comptroller George Maragos.