Women’s health advocacy organizations on Thursday endorsed Democrat Laura Curran for Nassau County executive.
They cited her support for reproductive rights — despite a county executive’s general inability to influence policy on the issue.
The National Organization for Women of Nassau County and the political action committees of Planned Parenthood of Nassau County and the National Institute for Reproductive Health each announced their backing of Curran, a Nassau County legislator from Baldwin, at a news conference in Roslyn.
JoAnn Smith, treasurer of Planned Parenthood’s local political action committee, said in an interview that Curran has shown herself to be a leader by strongly opposing Republicans’ efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and to defund abortion providers.
“She looked at it from both standpoints: the disaster it would be in terms of people’s health and the economic impact to the county,” Smith said. “That’s the kind of leader we need in Nassau County.”
Smith acknowledged that county executives have little say in women’s reproductive issues. ‘But Smith said they still should lobby state and federal policymakers on behalf of reproductive rights.
Curran in a statement said, “As county executive I will do everything in my power to level the playing field for Nassau County women and ensure they have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else.”
Curran will face County Comptroller George Maragos in the Sept. 12 Democratic primary for county executive. Former State Senator Jack Martins is the Republican nominee.
The women’s groups that stood with Curran Thursday typically endorse Democrats in local races. Maragos, who left the GOP last fall, did not respond to a request for comment.
Mollie Fullington, a spokeswoman for Martins, cited his support as state senator for many components of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s “Women’s Equality Agenda” and laws to protect women in the workplace.
“As a father of four daughters, Jack will continue to fight to ensure every opportunity is afforded his children and all women and girls,” Fullington said.