Nassau Democratic chairman Jay Jacobs says he is withholding his personal support and fundraising for Legis. David Denenberg’s bid for State Senate because of the Merrick Democrat’s recent vote in favor of an amended police contract when the party position was to abstain.
The party will continue its support of Denenberg’s effort to win the South Shore Senate seat vacated by Republican Charles Fuschillo, Jacobs said. “I however, am moving in a different direction. I will not be contributing heavily or fundraising heavily. I have other candidates that need it.”
Denenberg said he supports the party. “Ultimately, I’m accountable to my constituents first.” He added, “I consider Jay a friend and I hope he changes his mind.
Denenberg is running against county Legis. Michael Venditto (R-Massapequa).
Jacobs has been at odds with Denenberg before — when Denenberg broke party ranks to vote against legislative pay raises, when he voted in favor of a Republican-backed referendum to renovate the Nassau Coliseum, and when he voted to borrow more than $700 million at once, as proposed by the Republican county administration, to repair the Sandy-damaged Bay Park Sewage Plant renovations while his fellow Democrats wanted to borrow in phases.
Jacobs said, “There is a long history of certain individuals liking to go their own way and feel the party is not that important and can be taken for granted. My view is we are a team. When you want something from the team, it's a benefit when you’ve played as part of the team, but when you have not, it’s really hard for you to complain that the rest of the team isn’t playing with you.”
He added that he will get involved in “a number of important races,” naming Adam Haber’s challenge to incumbent State Sen. Jack Martins (R-Mineola), U.S. Rep. Tim Bishop’s re-election, a few Suffolk state senate races and upstate congressional elections.
Denenberg said, “I believe I’m a terrific team player in that I win repeatedly in a heavily Republican district and provide financial support to the party.” Asked why he didn’t abstain with most of his colleagues, Denenberg said, “Abstaining is like taking your sister to the prom .?.?. It means nothing.”