Nassau County Executive - Democratic

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Nassau County Executive - Democrat

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Laura Curran:

Background:
Curran, 49, of Baldwin, is serving her second term in the Nassau County Legislature and is running in a Democratic primary for county executive. She also is on the Working Families and Women’s Equality party lines in the general election. Curran was born in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada, and moved to Baldwin in 1997. She received her bachelor’s degree in humanities from Sarah Lawrence College and did some graduate work in American studies at the CUNY Graduate School. She is a former reporter for the New York Daily News and New York Post. She later worked part-time in the press office of former Democratic Nassau County Executive Thomas Suozzi, now a congressman in the Third District. Curran was elected to the Baldwin school board in 2010 and served one term. Curran, who is vacating her legislative seat, is married with three children.

Issues:
Curran’s campaign has primarily focused on eliminating county corruption and nepotism by updating Nassau’s ethics standards and reforming its contracting policies. She would enact term limits for county elected officials, reconstitute the county’s Board of Ethics, strengthen financial disclosure laws and bar all appointees from holding leadership positions in any political party or any local political club. “Hiring should be based on your ability to do the job and not who you know,” she said. Curran contends the county has failed to responsibly manage its finances and balance its budget. She would re-evaluate every county program for effectiveness and hire more in-house attorneys to reduce the need for outside counsel. “And for the contracts that we do need, there must be more oversight,” said Curran.

George Maragos:

Background:
Maragos, 68, of Glen Cove is the two-term Nassau County comptroller and is running in a Democratic primary for county executive. He was born in Greece and raised in Manhattan. Maragos earned a bachelor’s degree from McGill University in Montreal in 1973 and a master’s in business administration in 1983 from Pace University in Manhattan. He was in private industry for more than 35 years, as a vice president at Citicorp and Chase Manhattan Bank. He founded and ran SDS Financial Technologies, which develops data and money transfer networks, for more than 20 years. He was first elected Nassau comptroller in 2009. Last year, Maragos switched his party affiliation from Republican to Democrat to run for county executive. He is married and has two sons.

Issues:
Maragos is campaigning to fix the county assessment system, build affordable housing for young families, improve the county’s public transportation system and reform ethics rules following the indictment of several local and county officials. Maragos said he would return Nassau to an annual property assessment system “to ensure accuracy and that they are done at market value.” He would also require developers seeking tax relief and zoning variances from industrial development agencies to make 25 percent of housing units affordable. And he would ban all contributions from county contractors to elected officials and political parties, enact term limits for elected officials and institute a public campaign finance system. “I will end the county’s pay-to-play culture, which I calculate is costing taxpayers $250 to $300 million per year,” Maragos said.

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