From the right: Nassau’s political winners and losers in 2017

From the right: Nassau’s political winners and losers in 2017


Here’s my take on the political winners and losers in this year’s game of Nassau politics.


Joseph Mondello: The GOP boss presided over the death of the once monolithic political organization. The party needs a new young leader more interested in principles and policies than patronage and perks.

Anthony Santino: After waiting years to become Hempstead supervisor, voters realized he was not up to the job. Angry Democrats and Republicans, irked by his arrogance, came out in droves to evict him from office.

George Maragos: Nassau’s hapless comptroller switched to the Democratic Party expecting to handily win its nomination for County Executive.

However, Maragos proved to be, in the words of New York Democratic National Committeeman Robert Zimmerman, “an affront to the principles and standards of the Democratic Party.”

The political empty suit was clobbered by Laura Curran in the Democratic Primary, 78.5 percent to 21.3 percent.

Bruce Blakeman: The Republican Hempstead Town Legislator committed the cardinal political sin: he endorsed Democrat Laura Gillen for Town Supervisor.

Expect Boss Mondello and his minions not to rest until they punish the political lightweight for helping a Democrat win the post for the first time in 100 years. If Blakeman is thinking about becoming a Democrat, he should contemplate Maragos’s fate in that party.

Ed Mangano: His federal corruption trial begins in January. Regardless of the outcome, it is fair to assume he will no longer be a regular at Oheka Castle poker games.

John Venditto: The former Oyster Bay Supervisor is a loser for winning the trifecta.

First, he was indicted in 2016 by the feds for obstruction of justice and conspiracy to commit bribery.

Then in June he was indicted by District Attorney Madeline Singas on charges of “bribery, money laundering and a crooked multi-million-dollar property deal.”

And in November, Venditto was indicted on new federal charges involving municipal finance securities fraud.

Jack Martins: Having lost a Congressional race in 2016 and County Executive in 2017, Martins’ elective career is most likely over. He ran a lousy campaign. Instead of running against NIFA, he should have run against corruption in the GOP ranks.

Gerard Terry: The one-time, all powerful North Hempstead Democratic political operative who compiled as much as $1.4 million in tax debt, pleaded guilty to criminal tax fraud in a State court. He still faces federal tax evasion charges.


Laura Curran: She is only the third Democrat to be elected county executive in the past century. She ran a good campaign against the corrupt GOP political machine. Since the municipal unions endorsed Martins, she enters office beholden to no one.

Laura Gillen: She toppled the GOP monarchy that has reigned over Hempstead for 100 years. And she did it with only a $32 thousand campaign fund versus incumbent Santino’s $1.1 million.

Hopefully, she has the fortitude to throw out the political hacks on the Hempstead payrolls and eliminate hundreds, if not thousands, of patronage jobs.

Jay Jacobs: The Nassau Democratic Party chairman can take a deep bow. His party had the best night ever on Election Day.

Madeline Singas: The Nassau District Attorney has kept her promise to be above the political fray. She indicted and brought to justice, the former North Hempstead Democratic Party leader Gerard Terry, who pleaded guilty to tax fraud. And she indicted former GOP Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto on numerous corruption charges.

Judi Bosworth: The North Hempstead Supervisor had a landslide victory on Election Day. She was rewarded by voters for cleaning up the mess left by her predecessor Jon Kaiman. Taxpayers were happy that Moody’s Investors Service noted that “the town’s management is strong, with balanced budgets that no longer include pension amortization, a lack of one shot revenue sources, conservative budgeting practices and a debt management service plan.”

Joseph Saladino: Appointed to succeed the disgraced John Venditto in January, Oyster Bay Supervisor Saladino managed to get elected to the post with 52 percent of the vote despite all the scandals and indictments.

The question now: Will he and other Town officials survive politically after the SEC, in late November, charged “Oyster Bay and its most senior elected official [John Venditto] of conceal[ing] from its municipal investors that the town had gone to great lengths and taken on financial risk in an unusual decision to assist a vendor”?

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