Out of Nassau, we see George Maragos, the new comptroller, going for the nomination against Sen. Charles Schumer. Out of Suffolk, we see former CIA agent Gary Berntsen going for the same spot. The two Long Island Republican organizations on different pages? Fits right in with the big fault line of late -- Cox versus Mondello, Lazio versus Levy, LaValle snubbing Blakeman, and so forth.
Berntsen announces Sunday at Foley Square, with this dispatch from hsi campaign supporters:
For too long there have been empty echoes of “vote him out” aimed at career politicians like Senator Schumer. Now is your chance to put words into action. Join Gary and his supporters right outside Senator Schumer’s Manhattan offices as the battle for New York’s future gets underway. With a multitude of Gary Berntsen supporters standing outside Senator Schumer’s office, we will send a message to the Senator and to the local and national media that Senator Schumer has a real fight on his hands.
On Sunday, we will send this veteran of the military and the CIA on his most important mission yet as he begins his statewide campaign to return this senate seat to the people of New York, rather than political insiders and the leadership of the Democratic Party.
Meanwhile, from the Maragos camp:
The Queens County Executive Committee voted unanimously to endorse George Maragos for United State Senate saying he has the best chance to defeat Chuck Schumer.
“Mr. Maragos represents the American dream as a self made man,” stated Chairman Phil Ragusa, the Queens County GOP Chairman. “He has the experience and qualifications to bring about real change in Washington with Republican and Conservative ideals. The Queens County committee is proud to endorse George Maragos for the U.S. Senate.”
George Maragos is the current Nassau County Comptroller and has worked tirelessly to restore fiscal stability and accountability to County finances. Mr. Maragos was also one of the first to ring the alarm when health insurance companies proposed crippling premium increases earlier this year. Without the proper federal oversight the overall affect of the proposed increases could be in the billions of dollars for New York State.
“I am deeply honored and humbled by the endorsement of the Queens County Republican Committee and by the confidence of Chairman Phil Ragusa and Vice Chairman Vince Tabone,” stated Mr. Maragos. “I have seen firsthand how local governments are struggling without the support of the federal government. I am grateful for the enthusiastic support of the entire Executive Committee and look forward to putting the people first.”
George had previously received the endorsement of the Nassau County GOP Committee and is expecting many more endorsements soon.
Mr. Maragos has 35 years of successful business experience with senior management positions with Citibank and Chase as Vice President. He also founded and guided his own small business in financial information services. George has an MBA in Finance and Bachelors in Electrical Engineering.