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Long IslandPoliticsSpin Cycle

Attack on Mangano could boomerang

The best thing to happen to Republican Ed Mangano recently might have been an attack by Democrats.

Mangano, the incoming Nassau County executive, has not always been on the same page as the county Republican organization since Democratic incumbent Thomas Suozzi conceded on Dec. 1st.

Allies of GOP chairman Joe Mondello let people know a few days after the victory that Mondello ally Greg Peterson would head Mangano’s transition team.

A couple of days after that, Mangano announced that the prolonged paper ballot count left him little time to form a government, and he would forego a traditional transition committee. So no need for Peterson.

Then there were reports of local GOP lawyers vying for the county attorney post, but Mangano picked upstater John Ciampoli earlier this week.

That prompted Nassau Democratic boss Jay Jacobs to launch an attack on Mangano for picking someone who was not a county resident, and Republicans flocked to Mangano’s defense, pointing out all the non-county residents hired by Suozzi.

While the stereotype is that Republicans are unified while Democrats are fractious, the Oyster Bay Republicans that form Mangano’s base sometimes have different priorities than the Hempstead Republicans that are Mondello's base.

There was little evidence early in the Mangano campaign that he was getting support from outside Oyster Bay, but Mondello’s county organization pumped in about $250,000 in the final three weeks, and the Town of Hempstead GOP kicked in $20,000.That was about one-third of the $715,000 that Mangano raised.

The future? Mangano’s hold on Republican loyalists should grow even firmer in January after Democrats become the minority party in the legislature and launch the attacks on Republicans that Dems have been whispering about.

\[A colleague schooled in the barnyard politics of Albany points to a similar situation: state boss GOP William Powers and then-U.S. Sen. Alfonse D’Amato got furious at George Pataki after Pataki became governor in 1995 and never gave them anything of value.\]

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