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Giuliani backs Murray for DA, despite knocking similar Staten Island candidate

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani has endorsed Kate Murray for Nassau district attorney, cutting a television advertisement – released by Murray’s campaign Tuesday – in which he calls the fellow Republican “tough on crime,” despite her lack of criminal law experience.

The 30-second spot will begin airing on local cable TV this week. Giuliani, looking directly at the camera, says Murray, the longtime Hempstead town supervisor, “will give the problems of drugs, corruption and domestic abuse the attention they deserve.

“It takes a commitment to law and order to be a good district attorney,” Giuliani said. “That’s Kate Murray.”

Murray’s Democratic opponent, acting District Attorney Madeline Singas, has repeatedly criticized Murray for having never tried a criminal case. Murray was an assistant state attorney general in the 1990s, defending the state against lawsuits from prison inmates, before being elected to state assembly, Hempstead town clerk and then town supervisor, the post she has held since 2003.

Despite his endorsement of Murray in Nassau, Giuliani has lodged attacks similar to Singas’ against the Democrat running for Staten Island district attorney.

According to the Staten Island Advance, Giuliani this month endorsed Republican Joan Illuzzi, a career prosecutor, while calling her Democratic opponent, former congressman and New York City councilman Michael McMahon – who has some criminal defense experience – unqualified.

“I believe it is an insult to the people of Staten Island for the Democratic Party to put up a candidate who has never prosecuted a case, never tried a case," Giuliani said, according to the Advance. “I’m not even sure he knows what a courtroom is. He’s been a politician all his life.”

The Staten Island race mirrors Nassau’s in several ways. Not only does it pit an experienced prosecutor versus a longtime holder of political office, but the longtime prosecutor, Illuzzi, did not receive the endorsement of the powerful New York City Police Benevolent Association. That went to McMahon, just like Murray has been endorsed by Nassau’s PBA as well as all of its other police unions.

Singas campaign spokesman Isaac Goldberg called Giuliani’s backing of Murray “laughable,” seeing his statement that McMahon’s candidacy was “an insult” to voters.

“We can only assume he finds Kate Murray’s candidacy just as insulting,” Goldberg said.

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