Laura Curran, a two-term Democratic legislator, tirelessly took her message of clean and open government to voters, convincing them in her likely upset win that there was a more honorable way to run Nassau County. The county executive-elect presented a fresh, inclusive approach to governing combined with tough plans to manage the county’s many woes.
“Tonight, Nassau voted to end the culture of corruption,” Curran told a crowd of supporters late Tuesday.
Her leadership would be a sea change from the dishonest and moribund administration of Republican Edward Mangano, who, after eight years, leaves office under federal indictment and with few accomplishments. The finances are still underwater, the county assessment system is broken, and the Hub remains a concrete wasteland without a professional hockey team.
Curran first needs to restore integrity, confidence and an identity to a directionless county. Her Republican opponent, Jack Martins, had a fine record of public service with fine managerial skills. However, he ran a tone-deaf campaign that despicably focused on fearmongering while failing to put forward a convincing plan to break the insidious self-dealing that is destroying his party.
The legislature is likely to remain in GOP control, but it will have a new majority leader who would be wise to find a bipartisan path to address the county’s needs.
Curran, notably the first woman to hold the county executive’s office, has a lot to work with. Nassau County has extraordinary wealth. It has talented, hardworking residents. It thrives on its connection to the greatest city in the world, and it features fine schools, close-knit communities, a diversity of creeds, colors and visions, and a palpable vitality.
Now it simply needs a government worthy of its people.
This editorial was updated on Nov. 8 to correct the spelling of Republican Edward Mangano’s name.