With Thursday's deadline to submit petitions to appear as a candidate for county executive on the September primary ballot passed, County Executive Ed Mangano, who is facing federal corruption charges, will not be running for a third term as a Republican.
This means that Republican Jack Martins, a state senator and the former mayor of Mineola who entered the race on April 26, will not be forced to primary against the incumbent Mangano, whom he has distanced himself from throughout the campaign without directly attacking.
Martins on Thursday submitted 34,322 signatures to the Board of Elections — thousands more than Democratic candidates Laura Curran or George Maragos submitted, he was quick to point out.
Two-thousand signatures are required to appear on the primary ballot.
"The outpouring of support from across Nassau County has been terrific, Martins said, in a statement after submitting the signatures. “A 'thank you' to the men and women who carried these petitions for their commitment and effort. The enthusiasm and support I have received from everyday residents has energized our campaign to fight for hard working, middle class families, restore public confidence in government, and ensure that Nassau's best days are still ahead.”
Baldwin Legislator Curran and County Comptroller Maragos will both vie for the Democratic spot on the ballot, with Curran submitting over 27,000 signatures on Tuesday, and Maragos, a former Republican who switched parties late last year before announcing his candidacy, submitting 20,000.
Maragos is running his own team of what he calls “independent Democratic candidates,” including Ama Yawson for comptroller and Carl DeHaney for clerk, to challenge Curran, whose campaign is supported by the Nassau County Democrats, and who Maragos has repeatedly called a “hand-picked” “puppet” for the Democratic establishment.
Curran, in several live forums and in statements, has attacked Maragos for his late-game party switch, his tenure working in the Mangano administration and past statements that she says do not align with Democratic ideals.
Maragos said, in a statement, that his number of signatures “clearly demonstrate that the Democratic voters in Nassau County are sick and tired of high property taxes and rampant government corruption on both sides of the aisle.”
"They want fresh candidates with proven experience, integrity and independence who will work for the residents and the middle class and not the unqualified puppets handpicked by party bosses who will cater to special interests and perpetuate the culture of corruption and pay-to-play."
Meanwhile Curran touted her signatures as gathered using “100 percent volunteer support,” and her numerous endorsements by current and former elected officials and several labor unions.
"I am truly honored and humbled to have the support of so many Nassau voters who are clearly ready to end the culture of corruption and give Nassau County the fresh start it deserves," she said on Tuesday. "Nassau voters are sick and tired of career politicians making empty promises then turning around to uphold the failed status quo that only rewards the elected and the connected. When I'm county executive, we are going to fix the mess in Nassau County and make our government work for those who pay for it - the taxpayers."
A spokesman for Mangano, on Friday, only said, "County Executive Ed Mangano did not file Republican nominating petitions [yesterday]."
The state primary will be held on Sept. 12.