Embattled Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano will not seek re-election on the Republican line this year, officials said Thursday after months of speculation about his political future.
Mangano, who was indicted on federal corruption charges last fall, submitted no petitions to run for a third term to the county Board of Elections before Thursday’s deadline, Democratic Elections Commissioner David Gugerty said.
“County Executive Ed Mangano did not file Republican nominating petitions today,” Deputy County Executive Ed Ward said in a statement.
Mangano would have needed 2,000 registered Republicans to sign a petition to put his name on the ballot for a primary against former state Sen. Jack Martins, the GOP county executive nominee. Martins submitted 34,322 Republican signatures.
Mangano has refused to resign since his October arrest on charges stemming from an alleged bribe and kickback scheme with a restaurateur who got county contracts.
While Republican leaders and officials have mostly abandoned him, Mangano has been mostly silent about his political intentions, only hinting at a run in a Newsday interview last month.
The possibility remains that Mangano could run with the Independence Party, a minor party that submitted a petition Thursday nominating its chairman, Rick Bellando, for county executive.
Mangano is hoping the Independence line will open a path to a re-election campaign, a source close to the county executive told Newsday.
Bellando, an associate of Nassau power broker Gary Melius, has made no formal campaign announcement. A call to a phone number listed under his name was not returned Friday.
Bellando has until Monday to decline the Independence nomination. If he does, the party has until June 21 to pick a new nominee.
Martins, who is also running on the Reform and Conservative Party lines, called for Mangano’s resignation the day he was indicted.
“Having been the first to call for Ed Mangano to resign, in October, I certainly did not expect him to run this year,” Martins said in a statement. “But I am focused on fighting to put Nassau County back on the right track to make sure Nassau’s best years are still ahead.”
The Democratic county executive candidates, Nassau Legislator Laura Curran and county Comptroller George Maragos, each submitted more than 10 times the number of required petition signatures from registered Democrats on Monday, making a September primary highly likely.
Curran, the Nassau Democratic Committee’s nominee, filed 27,304, and Maragos, who switched parties in September, submitted 20,241, Gugerty said.
Nassau Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs said the party is reviewing Maragos’ petitions and will challenge any faulty signatures in an effort to boot him from the ballot. Maragos said he is prepared to defend his signatures and challenge Curran’s.
Curran, a second-term legislator, said this year’s election remains a “referendum on corruption” despite Mangano’s likely absence from the ballot.
“We need real change if we are going to fix the mess in Nassau County and Jack Martins is clearly just more of the same,” she said in a statement.
Maragos, who ran alongside Mangano twice, said the county executive race can now “be about which candidate has the integrity, experience and independence to restore trust in government and serve the residents — not the special interest and political bosses.”