HEMPSTEAD - The Nassau County executive race could be decided by the minority vote.
Minorities make up about 30 percent of all voters, and tend to vote Democrat. When Democratic candidate Tom Suozzi was voted out of office in 2009, he lost by just 386 votes.
While political experts say Suozzi will need the support of the minority community to beat incumbent Republican Ed Mangano, many also say that support has appeared to be lukewarm up until now.
NAACP president Doug Mayers says Suozzi’s previous tenure led to few minority jobs and little, if any, business.
“He did not listen to the people who he should have listened to,” says Mayers.
A possible thorn in Suozzi’s side could be former Freeport Mayor Andrew Hardwick, who lost his fight to get on the ballot as a third candidate. Consultant Mike Dawidziak tells News 12 Long Island that Hardwick could still siphon support from Suozzi.
“Chances are whatever effect he has, it will be helpful to Mangano and hurtful to Suozzi,” says Dawidziak.
A new community group of minorities met with Suozzi and Mangano last month. After questioning them on the issues, the group refused to endorse either candidate.