Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano is making moves to run for re-election next year despite federal corruption investigations that have plagued his Republican administration.
There are a few signs:
- Mangano attended a recent campaign finance workshop held at Nassau Republican headquarters to advise candidates on how to fill out disclosure reports.
- A top aide recently touted the millions of dollars in revenues the deficit-plagued county expects to collect in early to mid-2017 from the leasing of the county’s sewer system.
- A revamped Nassau Coliseum should reopen in March of that campaign year.
- And the administration hopes to have solved the multimillion-dollar problem of commercial tax refunds by that point — though many expect legal challenges to stall that deal.
Asked if Mangano plans to run for a third term, spokesman Brian Nevin said in an email, “The County Executive is focused on creating jobs and running county government.”
However, Republican and Democratic insiders say there is one sign they need to see before they believe Mangano is serious about running for re-election: He has to start raising serious money again to raise his standing in the polls.
A Newsday/News 12/Siena college poll in February found that 44 percent of Nassau voters had an unfavorable opinion of Mangano while 42 percent had a favorable opinion and 14 percent had no opinion.
The results mark a fall from the 58 percent favorable rating Mangano had from Nassau voters in November 2013, according to a Siena poll released days before he was re-elected to a second term.
Republicans on the email list for Mangano fundraisers say they have yet to see any pickup in scheduled events, which used to occur on a monthly basis before Mangano’s brush with scandals.
Former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and his son, Adam, are awaiting sentencing on federal corruption charges that involved in part their efforts to influence a Nassau county contract.
Mangano’s top aide, Rob Walker, testified during the Skelos trial that he was under investigation for granting county contracts to political contributors.
And longtime Mangano friend Harendra Singh, who employed Mangano’s wife, is in jail awaiting trial on charges of federal corruption charges, including bribery of an Oyster Bay town official and fraudulently collecting almost $1 million in federal emergency management money.
Mangano’s campaign in January reported raising just $111,296 in the prior six months. In comparison, Mangano’s campaign in the 2013 election year raised more than $3.5 million.
The time to see if Mangano’s fundraising picks up is in June, some Republicans suggested, after the April 19 New York presidential primary and the special election the same day to fill Skelos’ former State Senate seat.
The May 11 Nassau Republican Committee annual Patriot’s fundraiser that will feature Donald Trump and the committee’s May 19 nominating convention for this year’s state races also will have taken place.