Town of Hempstead Councilman Bruce Blakeman, a Republican, will run against Democratic incumbent Laura Curran for Nassau County executive in the fall election.
Blakeman, a 65-year-old Atlantic Beach resident, was appointed to the Hempstead town council in 1993 and served through 1995 before ultimately being reappointed in 2015.
In that interim, Blakeman served as the County Legislature’s presiding officer from 1996 to 1999. Along with experience as an attorney in the private sector, Blakeman also served as commissioner of the Port Authority and the liaison between Nassau County’s Republican Party and former President Donald Trump.
Blakeman told Newsday he would bring “fairness back to the [property] assessment system in Nassau,” and find ways to boost economic growth to increase the county’s tax base.
Efforts to reach Blakeman for further comment were unavailing.
Nassau County Republican Party Chairman Joseph Cairo touted Blakeman’s abilities and told Newsday that he will “fix” the county’s reassessment program that the Curran administration implemented.
“Bruce will fix the County Executive’s broken reassessment, which has hiked taxes for 65% of Nassau’s homeowners,” a statement from the county’s Republican Party said. “Bruce Blakeman is putting taxpayers first.”
Nassau County and state Democratic Party Chairman Jay Jacobs said Blakeman’s previous involvement as presiding officer contributed to the “assessment mess” and called upon him to speak on the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election.
“Bruce Blakeman is another career politician who would take us backwards,” Jacobs said. “Let’s remember that it was Bruce Blakeman who was the Presiding Officer of the Legislature when Nassau’s finances crumbled, requiring the state to impose the NIFA control board. As a Trump delegate and supporter, Bruce Blakeman needs to answer the question of whether or not he believes the last election was legitimate before he asks Nassau voters to consider him in this next one.”
Blakeman has previously sought various offices on the state and local levels, running for state comptroller in 1998, eventually losing to Carl McCall by more than 1.4 million votes. In 2010, Blakeman lost in the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate special election. Four years later, he lost to U.S. Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-Garden City) in the race for the 4th Congressional District.