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Murray appears to be GOP frontrunner for Nassau DA race

Republican oddsmakers have again put Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray at the top of the list as the most likely Republican candidate to run for Nassau district attorney this fall, following a Hempstead Town GOP spring reception Thursday night.

Several attendees describe the fundraising event at Milleridge Inn in Jericho as a “lovefest” between Murray, who has been eyeing the race since Democratic District Attorney Kathleen Rice left for Congress in January, and Nassau Republican Chairman Joseph Mondello, who will make the critical recommendation on who the county committee's candidate will be.

Also in the mix were Hempstead Town Board Member Anthony Santino, who has been angling to take Murray’s place as Hempstead supervisor, and former U.S. Senator Alfonse D’Amato, who joked recently about seeing in the future a “great” Hempstead supervisor becoming district attorney and a great senior Hempstead councilman becoming supervisor.

In speeches Thursday, both Mondello and D’Amato praised Murray as a great supervisor while Mondello said she is "going places." Mondello also gave Santino, who has served as his spokesman for more than two decades, a service award.

Other Republicans whose names have been suggested as the GOP's district attorney candidate are Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto and State Sen. Jack Martins (R-Old Westbury). GOP officials have declined comment on who will make the race, saying nothing is certain until the party holds its nominating convention on May 6.

Attendees also say there was no discussion at Thursday’s reception of this week’s news reports that State Sen. Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre), who is the Senate majority leader, and his adult son, Adam, are under federal investigation concerning the awarding of a Nassau public works contract. Skelos wasn't at the event. The only Nassau state senator to attend was Sen. Kemp Hannon (R-Garden City).

Dean Skelos has pledged his cooperation with the investigation, while his son’s attorney has not commented.

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