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Jack Martins launches Nassau County executive bid

Former Republican State Sen. Jack Martins announced Wednesday, April 26, 2017, at Mineola Village Hall  that he is running for Nassau County executive. Martins, a former Mineola mayor who ran unsuccessfully for Congress last year, says he will stabilize the county's finances, fix its property tax assessment system and restore trust in government. (Credit: Ed Betz)

Former Republican State Sen. Jack Martins launched his campaign for Nassau County executive Wednesday, promising to “rewrite the county’s history” and restore its ingenuity and financial prosperity.

“Let’s make sure that the next 80 years here in Nassau County are going to be the best years ever,” Martins told several dozen supporters at a rain-soaked news conference outside Mineola Village Hall.

He said his administration would, “restore this county to the status it had historically and to the place we all deserve.”

Martins, a former Mineola mayor who served three terms in the State Senate, is expected to secure the nomination of the executive committee of the Nassau Republican Party Committee when it meets Thursday.

Martins said his campaign will focus on stabilizing the county’s finances, so the Nassau Interim Finance Authority, a state monitoring board in control of the county’s finances, can be disbanded.

Martins also wants to reform the county’s troubled property tax assessment system and restore faith in government after the indictments of several elected officials, including GOP County Executive Edward Mangano.

“We want a county that is able to pay its bills and not borrowing and leveraging our children’s future with debt,” Martins said.

Mangano, who has pleaded not guilty to federal corruption charges, has yet to say if he will run for re-election. On Tuesday, Mangano called Martins’ announcement “election season nonsense.”

Mineola Mayor Scott Strauss said Martins can work across the aisle to fix Nassau’s problems. “Jack’s integrity is unquestionable,” Strauss said. “His common sense and vision are unmatched.”

Legis. Laura Curran (D-Baldwin) and Assemb. Charles Lavine (D-Glen Cove), two of three candidates vying for the Democratic nomination for county executive, criticized Martins Wednesday for his past support of former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, who was convicted last year on federal corruption charges.

Martins called the criticism “hypocritical,” charging that Lavine backed former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who was convicted on corruption charges last year, while Curran failed to publicly criticize ex-Nassau Legis. David Denenberg, who pleaded guilty to federal mail and wire fraud in 2015.

Silver and Skelos are appealing.

Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos also is seeking the Democratic nomination.

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