Charles Lavine hires county executive campaign staff, wins endorsements

Charles Lavine hires county executive campaign staff, wins endorsements
State Assemblyman Charles Lavine (D-Glen Cove). (Photo via Twitter)

State Assemblyman Charles Lavine has hired a campaign manager and three consulting firms as he prepares for a three-way Democratic primary for Nassau County executive.

Justin Lamorte, a Huntington Station native, will run the Glen Cove Democrat’s campaign with help from polling firm GBA Strategies, direct mail firm Mission Control and fundraising consultants Nashban Mansur, Lavine announced Tuesday.

“I assembled an experienced team that can help me win this race, and advance my campaign to end the corruption in Nassau County, restore honest, responsible government and help Nassau families succeed,” Lavine said in a statement.

The Nassau County Democratic Committee and its chairman, Jay Jacobs, have endorsed county Legislator Laura Curran of Baldwin for county executive, but Lavine and county Comptroller George Maragos are still vying to run for Nassau’s top elected office.

Republican County Executive Edward Mangano, who is facing federal political corruption charges, has not said whether he will seek a third term.

Lavine’s campaign is the first Lamorte has run on Long Island. He worked last year for U.S. Rep. Raja Krishamoorthi (D-Ill.) and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s independent spending arm.

Connecticut-based Mission Control has done work for several recent winning Democratic candidates backed by the Nassau Democratic Committee, including District Attorney Madeline Singas, her predecessor Kathleen Rice, now a congresswoman, and North Hempstead Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth.

U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove), a former county executive, worked with Washington, D.C.-based GBA Strategies in his successful run for Congress last year.

Nashban Mansur has worked with New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

The firm is hosting a March 14 fundraiser for Lavine in Albany with Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx) and Majority Leader Joseph Morelle (D-Utica), who have endorsed their fellow legislator in the race.

Suggested contributions range from $500 to $18,162, according to a flier for the event.

“I think Chuck’s proud to have the support of Democratic leaders, and it’s a reflection of the really strong, progressive, grassroots campaign that he’s running,” Lamorte said in an interview.

A Heastie spokeswoman did not return an email seeking comment.

Hank Sheinkopf, Maragos’ head political strategist, said the Assembly leaders’ endorsement shows they are “very loyal to their colleagues.”

Asked for comment on Lavine’s new campaign staff, Sheinkopf said, “Everybody has to make a living.”

A Curran spokesman, Isaac Goldberg, said the legislator is proud to have the Democratic Party’s backing, and will “continue campaigning on a message of fixing the mess in Mineola.”

Long Beach City Manager Jack Schnirman is running alongside Curran for county comptroller.

Republicans who may run for county executive include former state Sen. Jack Martins, county Clerk Maureen O’Connell, Hempstead Town Councilman Bruce Blakeman and Hempstead Town Receiver of Taxes Donald Clavin.

County Legislator Howard Kopel (R-Valley Stream) is reportedly considering a run for comptroller.

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