Election 2013

This year, all politics is local

County, town candidates on the ballot this November


Last year’s election had all the hype, with the hotly contested race between President Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney, and the battle for control of Congress.

This year, there will be a battle for control of Nassau County. Republicans are looking to keep their majority in the Legislature and hold on to the executive branch. Democrats want to take back the power they lost four years ago.

The marquee election this year is the rematch between Republican Ed Mangano and Democrat Tom Suozzi for county executive. Four years ago, Mangano, then a county legislator representing the Bethpage area, unseated Suozzi in a close election that took weeks to decide.

Now Suozzi, of Glen Cove, is looking to return to his old office in the Theodore Roosevelt Executive Building. The former two-term county executive, after staying silent for the first three years after his defeat, has come out swinging, criticizing Mangano’s financial policies.

Mangano has counter punched, saying that he has not raised property taxes, and that voters threw Suozzi out of office for a reason. On Election Day, voters will have a choice between two candidates with established records in the office.

Andrew Hardwick, the former mayor of Freeport, could be on the ballot as a third-party candidate on the We Count party line.

Stanley Klein, a political science professor at LIU Post, said he does not see any issues that could be a game-changer in the county executive race like there were in 2001, when Suozzi first ran. That year, Suozzi was able to attack the previous Republican administration for bringing Nassau to financial ruin. “That’s not the situation right now,” Klein said.

When the candidates met in 2009, Suozzi had a lot of money in his war chest, but was saving it for a run for higher office, Klein said, and Suozzi didn’t devote the time to the race that he should have. This time around, the former county executive has vowed to be much more involved in the election.

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