The Nassau County Republican Committee officially designated Jack Martins as its candidate for county executive on Thursday.
The party’s executive committee, which has about 70 members, voted unanimously to back Martins, a former state senator from Old Westbury, a day after he launched his campaign, according to a party leader who requested anonymity to discuss the vote.
Martins will not be officially nominated until the GOP convention later this month.
In a statement, Martins said the party’s endorsement is “one step among many toward winning in November.”
“This campaign is about restoring the public’s faith in government, cleaning up corruption and put Nassau County on the right track going forward,” Martins said.
The vote cemented the GOP’s rejection of Edward Mangano, the sitting Republican county executive, following his indictment in October on federal corruption charges stemming from an alleged bribe and kickback scheme.
One GOP source said last week that the party chose Martins because he is “corruption-free.” Martins called for Mangano’s resignation the day he was indicted.
A call to Nassau Republican Chairman Joseph Mondello’s office seeking to confirm the vote was not returned.
But in an interview with Newsday last week, Mondello said he had a mandate to get the party out from under the shadow of corruption allegations.
“The Republican Party is about more than any one man,” Mondello told Newsday. “It’s about certain principles. And if we don’t follow those principles, we could be in trouble.”
Launching his campaign last Wednesday, Martins pledged to implement ethics and transparency reforms and strengthen the county’s finances, as he did as mayor of the Village of Mineola.
Mangano has not said whether he will seek a third term in office. A Mangano spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.
County Legislator Laura Curran, state Assemblyman Charles Lavine and county Comptroller George Maragos are running in a three-way Democratic primary to face Martins.
Along with Nassau Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs, they have decried Martins as a candidate hand-picked by a Republican Party with a culture of corruption.