Mal Nathan undergoes open heart surgery, continues pursuit of office

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Democrat candidate Mal Nathan, who running for Nassau County’s District 9 against incumbent Richard Nicolello, underwent open heart surgery last week and is not expected to participate in any campaigning before the Nov. 7 election.

Nathan is challenging Nassau County Legislator Richard Nicolello in a district that covers parts of New Hyde Park, Garden City Park, Mineola, the Willistons and Albertson, and parts of Roslyn and Manhasset.

“He had some significant decline in his energy levels right before the surgery,” said Eileen Kraneburg, speaking on Nathan’s behalf. “Since the surgery, he feels a vast difference and he can already feel that he’s on the way back, better than ever.”

Nathan was lucky that he listened to his body and followed up with his doctor, avoiding hospitalization for something more traumatic like emergency surgery or a heart attack, Kraneburg said.

He encourages other residents to listen to their bodies and call their doctors if they experience health issues.

Kraneburg said Nathan will continue to run in the election but won’t be able to participate in any of the debates.

“Mal worked very hard on his campaign all summer. It’s unfortunate this came out of nowhere so close to the election,” Kraneburg said. ““He’s got a few more weeks at home under doctor’s orders. But who knows? You might see him back on the campaign trail before Election Day.”

Nathan, of Williston Park, currently serves North Hempstead as the chief bay constable. He also serves as vice president of the New York State Harbormaster and Bay Constable Association.

This is Nathan’s second attempt at the office.

Nicolello, the deputy majority leader of the Nassau County Legislutre, won his 11th term in the county Legislature defeating Nathan 66 percent to 34 percent — 6,250 to 3,246 — in the 2015 election.

“Mal did a good job two years ago. He’s a knowledgeable guy,” Nicolello said. “We had at least one debate. He represented his position well and to his credit he’s a real gentleman. I wish him the best and to get back to full health.”

Kraneburg said Nathan ran into Nicollelo before the surgery and told him what was happening.

“Of course, Richard is such a gentleman and good human being and wished him a quick recovery,” Kraneburg said. “We’re lucky we have two really good people running for office here.”

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