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George Maragos touts Ama Yawson to run for Nassau comptroller

Democratic Nassau County executive candidate George Maragos, left,

Democratic Nassau County executive candidate George Maragos, left, on Wednesday introduced small business owner and author Ama Yawson, right, as his candidate for Nassau County comptroller. Credit: Newsday / Robert Brodsky

Democratic Nassau County executive candidate George Maragos introduced another member of his Independent Democrat ticket Wednesday, naming Freeport small business owner Ama Yawson to run for county comptroller.

Yawson, a first-time political candidate, owns a boutique publishing house and education consulting firm, wrote a book about preventing bullying and worked previously as a senior counsel for Citigroup.

At a news conference in Mineola, Yawson pledged to bring “financial integrity” to Nassau, improve access to contracts for small and minority business owners and encourage private sector investment to boost the tax base.

“I am a political outsider and a community insider,” said Yawson, a Harvard University graduate who also received degrees from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and The Wharton School, also at Penn.

Maragos, who is completing his second term as comptroller, called Yawson “the most qualified person to ever run for office in Nassau County.”

Yawson will challenge Long Beach City Manager Jack Schnirman, the Democratic Party candidate for the seat.

Schnirman campaign aide Kim Devlin said, “Nassau cannot afford to continue Maragos’ legacy of rubber-stamping the corrupt county executive’s scandal-plagued administration, fiscal mismanagement, and total lack of transparency.”

Mangano spokesman Brian Nevin responded: “The real corruption is taking place in Long Beach, where Jack Schnirman made backroom deals to support tax breaks for million-dollar apartments, increased property taxes by double digits on homeowners and continues to hide behind his desk when asked for public comment. Jack Schnirman wouldn’t know transparency if it smacked him on the face.”

Maragos formed a ticket to challenge candidates backed by the county Democratic Party in the Sept. 12 primary.

Maragos’ slate includes County Clerk candidate Carl DeHaney Jr. and George Siberon for the 5th Legislative District. On Thursday, Maragos will announce his candidate for Oyster Bay Town supervisor.

Nassau Republicans have selected Steve Labriola, who works as chief compliance officer in Nassau’s Office of Management and Budget, as their comptroller candidate.

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