Cuomo selects Nassau County Democratic chair to lead state party

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Nassau County Democratic Party chair Jay Jacobs at the Dems' election night party on Nov. 6, 2018. (Photo by Luke Torrance)

Nassau County Democratic Committee Chairman Jay Jacobs is expected to return as state Democratic chairman, a position he left in May 2012 to allow Gov. Andrew Cuomo to appoint his own leadership.

The Forest Hills native began as chairman of the Nassau County Democrats in October 2001 and has served in the position ever since. He will continue to hold the county position.

His original appointment as state chairman began in 2009 when he was tapped by former Gov. David A. Paterson.

In a report in the Daily News, Cuomo cited Jacobs’ achievements while serving as county chairman as qualifications for the state position. He touted Jacobs’ aid in flipping the state Senate in 2018 by helping elect five Democratic state senators, including Anna Kaplan (D-Great Neck), in the traditionally GOP-friendly county.

The governor also applauded Jacobs for helping to elect the first female Nassau County executive and the first Democratic supervisor in the Town of Hempstead.

“Jay Jacobs is an outstanding champion for Long Island with an unparalleled record of bringing Democrats together to win historic victories, and I am excited to work with him to further strengthen our party and elect even more Democrats up and down the ballot,” Cuomo said in a statement.

As chairman of the Nassau County Democrats, Jacobs led the process of finding candidates for county and town offices. As the state chair, he will be tasked with ensuring the various county chairs are doing their jobs and figuring out what resources they need to succeed, whether it be fundraising or legal aid.

He said in an interview with Blank Slate Media that he hopes to involve all 62 county Democratic party chairmen in the state to begin the process of building a strong state party. He plans to focus on local elections with the hope that the triumphs that occurred in the state elections will trickle down to a local level.

Jacobs said that he is looking forward to taking on the position again and that the governor’s recommendation came as a total surprise.

He said he and the governor are good friends and talk regularly but his selection as chairman never came up in conversation until he was approached about it this past week.

He is honored to have been asked to serve as  state Democratic chairman, especially at a time when state Democrats are leading the opposition against President Donald Trump, Jacobs said.

Cuomo’s recommendation will lead to a vote by the state Democratic Committee, which is expected to occur in February.

If approved, Jacobs will replace Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown.

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