Campaign finances, polls show tight exec race

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Laura Curran speaks while Jack Martins looks during a debate at Sands Point Preserve. (Photo by Luke Torrance)

Endorsements and campaign money have come pouring in over the past two months as the two candidates for county executive, Democrat Laura Curran and Republican Jack Martins, sped across Nassau to speak with voters. With Election Day just a week away, polls show a tight race to become Edward Mangano’s successor.

Each candidate released a poll this week showing that he or she was in the lead.

A Clout Research poll released by Martins showed him with a 47 percent to 41 percent lead over Curran.

“The closer we get to Election Day, the more people get to know Jack and understand the clear choice they have between him and his opponent,” said Mollie Fullington, a campaign spokeswoman.

Curran’s campaign released a poll that showed her ahead 43 percent to 39 percent over Martins with 17 percent undecided. The internal poll, conducted by Global Strategy Group, found that Curran was better known in Nassau than Martins and that Martins’ campaign was being dragged down by associations with two fellow Republicans accused of corruption: Mangano and former state Sen. Dean Skelos.

“It is clear our message of ending the culture of corruption and ensuring taxpayer dollars are only going to services our hard-working residents need is resonating with voters across Nassau County,” Curran said in a statement.

A poll from Newsday showed Martins holding a slim 43 percent to 41 percent lead.

Both candidates have touted endorsements from politicians, unions and civic groups. Among those who have endorsed Curran are New York’s two U.S. senators, Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand along with Gov. Andrew Cuomo. She has received the support of groups like the Sierra Club and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.

Martins has received the backing of former Gov. George Pataki and groups like the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and several law enforcement unions.

He also received the endorsement of the CSEA, which has garnered controversy recently after an audio recording was leaked of CSEA President Jerry Larrichuita saying that Martins said he would raise taxes before laying anyone off.

“Martins is just another cog in the political machine – saying anything he thinks the public wants to hear and saying something different behind closed doors when he thinks the public won’t know about it,” Curran said later.

When it came to fundraising, Curran had the advantage. In the last filing period, which covered contributions received from Oct. 3 to Oct. 23, Curran raised $671,438.

“I am honored to have such a broad base of support, and look forward to working with our residents to finally create a government that works for them, not just the elected and the connected,” Curran said in response to her fundraising haul.

In that same period, Martins raised $626,500. Over the course of the campaign, Curran has raised $1,721,679 since Martins started his campaign in May while Martins has raised $1,517,678. Since Curran announced her candidacy last year, she has raised $2,226,704.

Still, the Martins campaign said it was in a strong position going into Election Day.

“With 11 days to go, momentum around Jack Martins’ candidacy for county executive continues to build,” Martins’ campaign manager, E. O’Brien Murray, said.

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