It’s Mangano v. Suozzi, round two. This time, Ed Mangano is the incumbent and Tom Suozzi is the challenger.
It was four years ago when Suozzi, the two-term county executive, lost to Mangano by fewer than 400 votes in a race that took several weeks to decide. After a convincing win in the Democratic primary last month against Roslyn school board member Adam Haber, Suozzi will now be trying to get his old job back on Nov. 5.
Mangano and Suozzi have different views on how Nassau County has fared over the past four years. The current county executive says Nassau is headed in the right direction, with the unemployment rate falling, sales tax rising and an economic development plan taking shape.
Suozzi has countered that the Mangano administration has created record debt, relies too heavily on borrowing money, and has failed to fix the assessment system. The challenger has cited his eight-year tenure as county executive which included 13 consecutive bond rating upgrades.
About the candidates
Suozzi, who, at 31 became the youngest mayor in the history of Glen Cove, has politics in his blood. His father, Joseph, and uncle, Vincent, both led the North Shore city of about 27,000 people, and Joseph Suozzi ran for Nassau County executive in 1958. Suozzi’s cousin, Ralph, is Glen Cove’s current mayor.
In 2001, Suozzi defeated state Assemblyman Thomas DiNapoli, now the New York State Comptroller, in a primary to run for county executive. When Suozzi then beat out Republican Bruce Bent with nearly two-thirds of the vote, he became the first Democrat to hold the position since World War II.
Mangano was the first in his family to hold office and was an original member of the Nassau County Legislature, representing his hometown of Bethpage and surrounding communities for 14 years. During that time, he worked on redevelopment of the Grumman property.
Nassau County is becoming known as “Hollywood East,” Mangano said, because of the television and film studio development at Grumman. There are 12 sound stages and the industry has pumped $140 million into the local economy along with creating 2,000 jobs, Mangano explained.