Laura Curran backed by Dem state senators

Laura Curran backed by Dem state senators
Nassau County Legislator and county executive candidate Laura Curran (D-Baldwin) speaks in front of her home in January 2017. (Photo by Noah Manskar)

Long Island’s two Democratic state senators backed Nassau County Legislator Laura Curran for county executive on Wednesday.

Senators John Brooks of Seaford and Todd Kaminsky of Long Beach endorsed Curran, the choice of the Nassau County Democratic Committee in a three-way race for the party’s nod for Nassau’s highest office.

After an endless stream of indictments and arrests, Laura will bring a desperately needed fresh start to Nassau County and root out mismanagement and corruption, wherever it exists,” Brooks said in a statement.

Brooks and Kaminsky both benefited from Republican corruption scandals to win their seats in tight elections, and Curran is looking to do the same in the wake of current Republican County Executive Edward Mangano’s indictment on federal corruption charges in October.

Brooks took office in January after beating former GOP Sen. Michael Venditto, the son of indicted former Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto, by 258 votes.

Kaminsky first won his seat in April 2016 following the corruption conviction of Dean Skelos, the former Republican Senate majority leader. He won his first full term in November, beating GOP lawyer Chris McGrath both times.

Brooks and Kaminsky are the first elected officials in Nassau to pick between Curran, county Comptroller George Maragos and state Assemblyman Charles Lavine, who will face off in a September primary as Democrats seek to retake the county executive seat.

Lavine has support from two other state lawmakers: Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx) and Majority Leader Joseph Morelle (D-Utica), who are hosting a fundraiser for him in Albany on March 14.

Justin Lamorte, Lavine’s campaign manager, said Lavine has a “great grassroots base of support” in Nassau and is making good progress in his campaign.

Hank Sheinkopf, Maragos’ head political strategist, said it was unsurprising the senators were backing the choice of Jay Jacobs, the Nassau County Democratic chairman.

“What is news about the allies of Nassau County Democratic political boss Jay Jacobs endorsing his hand picked puppet?” Sheinkopf said.

Curran and Jacobs have drawn the ire of Maragos, a former Republican who switched parties to run for county executive, since Curran was picked as the Democratic leadership’s choice for the race.

Curran has meanwhile criticized Maragos for his past conservative political stances on abortion rights and same-sex marriage.

Isaac Goldberg, a Curran spokesman, said Sheinkopf’s jab was “name-calling” on behalf of a candidate who tried to become “a Tea Party darling.”

Curran, Maragos and Lavine are set to appear Thursday at a candidates forum at South Side High School in Rockville Centre.

Mangano has not said whether he will seek a third term. Other Republicans being considered for a run include former state Sen. Jack Martins, county Clerk Maureen O’Connell, Hempstead Town Councilman Bruce Blakeman and Donald Clavin, the Hempstead receiver of taxes.

Mangano spokesman Brian Nevin did not return an email seeking comment.

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