About two dozen black men and women, mostly Republicans, met with and listened to Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos vow to continue an equitable relationship with minority and women businesses and “to be proactive in enforcing the county's commitment to have 20 percent of its business go to these groups where possible.”
The event, held Thursday evening at Spices Negril Restaurant in Baldwin, was the first of the night for Maragos, who is running for for reelection next month.
Hosting the event and singing Maragos' praises was his deputy comptroller, James Garner, Long Island's first black mayor who headed Hempstead Village for 16 years until 2005.
"He is for all of the people and really wants to help," said Garner. "He goes over and above what the comptroller's job calls for, as long as its within the law."
Betty Cross, president of the Hempstead School Board, backed up Garner's praise, saying she personally knows of Maragos helping a man in the village "save his house."
Little was said about Democrat Howard Weitzman, unseated by Maragos four years ago, who is running again this year - except a perceived shot at the ex-incumbent’s record by prominent local lawyer Douglas Thomas: "The best thing you've got going for you," he said to Maragos, “is that your name is not Weitzman.” He gave no further explanation.
Maragos soon left for his next engagement at the Farmingdale Chamber of Commerce.
Weitzman campaign spokesman Nick Benson said today he had no comment on the event nor on Thomas' quip.