Nassau's police unions are collecting signatures for district attorney candidate Kate Murray on a new Law and Order ballot line.
James Carver, president of the county's Police Benevolent Association, confirmed reports that police officers and their supporters are trying to establish a new third party in the county with Republican Murray, now Hempstead Town supervisor, as its first candidate.
He said the unions wanted to address the "anti-cop sentiment that is out there. We don't think that's the majority. We think the majority of the people are law-and-order supporters."
The effort is similar to the tax-revolt line that Republicans created in 2009 that helped Republican Edward Mangano defeat incumbent County Executive Thomas Suozzi, a Democrat.
"We're looking to expand this as the years go forward," Carver said. "We wanted to start with a law-and-order candidate and the district attorney's race is perfect for that."
He said three retired police union members are leading the effort. Off-duty police and their supporters are collecting signatures throughout the county, he said.
"We've been met with open arms by the community," Carver said. "They're all for it."
Petitions for a third-party line must be submitted between Aug. 11 and 18. Carver said he understands only 1,500 signatures are needed to get the ballot line and the unions have collected many more than that.
If they successfully establish a law-and-order nomination for Murray, she will get an icon next to her name on the ballot rather than a separate line because she already has three major party lines: Republican, Conservative and Independence.
Isaac Goldberg, a spokesman for acting District Attorney Madeline Singas, the Nassau Democratic party's nominee for the district attorney's race, said "no amount of branding will change the fact that Kate Murray has never prosecuted, presided over, or defended a single criminal case and has no law enforcement experience whatsoever. Madeline Singas is a prosecutor, not a politician, and is proud to run on that experience."
Democrat Michael Scotto is making a long shot bid to run a primary against Singas for the Democratic nomination.