Nassau County’s response to Hurricane Sandy was the pinnacle of Ed Mangano’s first four years as county executive, prominent elected officials said during his inauguration ceremony on Jan. 2 at Bethpage High School.
In a nearly three-hour-long affair at Mangano’s alma mater, the county executive began his second term surrounded by hundreds of family members, friends, elected officials, county employees and other supporters. A bipartisan slate of officials, including Gov. Andrew Cuomo, State Sen. Dean Skelos, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, former U.S. Sen. Al D’Amato and Congressman Peter King praised Mangano for his dedication to the people of Nassau County.
Cuomo’s last-minute endorsement of Mangano’s opponent, Democrat and former County Executive Tom Suozzi, seemed a distant memory. The governor cited Mangano’s strength, tenacity and unwillingness to fail after Hurricane Sandy devastated parts of the county in October 2012. He said Mangano mobilized emergency responders, coordinated with state officials and fought for federal aid, while vowing to build Nassau County back better than before.
Skelos also noted Mangano’s response to the storm, how he was out on the streets talking with residents who were displaced from their homes. “Ed was there to offer comfort,” Skelos said, “and to offer hope and to show that there is a path to rebuilding Nassau County.”
Cuomo and Skelos both wished much prosperity for Nassau County, but said that it starts with a functioning government. Citing an unprecedented level of cooperation in Albany the last three years, they challenged Nassau’s leaders — both Mangano and the legislators — to follow that example.
“You’re supposed to have debate,” Skelos said. “You’re supposed to fight for your positions. But, in the end, it’s the responsibility of those who are elected officials, whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat, to stop the electioneering, come together and get results.”
Four years ago, Mangano was on the same auditorium stage, having defeated the then-incumbent Suozzi by fewer than 400 votes. D’Amato recalled that “miracle” victory, saying that few were giving Mangano a chance to win. But, D’Amato said, Mangano believed in himself and his message.