Rep. Grace Meng backs Curran for Nassau exec

The Island Now

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Queens) endorsed Laura Curran for Nassau County executive on Friday, adding to the Democratic candidate’s support from national figures.

Meng, who is also a vice chair of the Democratic National Committee, called Curran “an extraordinary public servant” who “cares deeply about the future of Nassau County.”

“I look forward to working with Laura to help make our region an even better place to live and work, and I urge voters in Nassau, during this critical time in the county, to support her in November,” Meng said in a statement to Blank Slate Media.

Curran, a second-term Nassau legislator, is running against former state Sen. Jack Martins, a Republican, to replace County Executive Edward Mangano, a Republican who is not seeking a third term following his indictment on federal corruption charges.

Curran has had the Nassau Democratic Committee’s support for months but officially won the party’s nomination when defeated county Comptroller George Maragos in Tuesday’s primary.

Meng’s endorsement is the latest foray into Nassau’s race by a national Democratic figure as the party seeks to take the county’s top office for only the third time in history.

Tom Perez, the DNC chairman, spoke at a Nassau Democratic Committee fundraiser in April; and two other vice chairs, Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota and state Assemblyman Michael Blake, have spoken at local gatherings in recent months.

Meng joins fellow Reps. Tom Suozzi and Kathleen Rice and former Reps. Carolyn McCarthy in Steve Israel in backing Curran. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has also endorsed her.

Meng served as a co-chair of the Quiet Skies Caucus, a group of House members that works to address airplane noise over parts of Queens and Nassau County. Suozzi succeeded Meng in that role earlier this year.

“We need strong federal partners if we are going to transform our County, and that is why I am so glad to have Congresswoman Meng in my corner,” Curran said in a statement.

A spokeswoman for Martins, Mollie Fullington, called Meng a “part of the Rep. Joe Crowley Corruption Machine,” referring to the chairman of the powerful Queens County Democratic Party who is also a high-ranking member of Congress.

“Jack Martins will continue to work hard to ensure Nassau is the best suburban county in the country, not try to turn it into the sixth borough of New York City,” Fullington said in a statement.

Crowley reportedly supported Meng over his cousin, New York City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley, in the 2012 Democratic primary for the House seat, which was vacated by former Rep. Gary Ackerman.

Martins has been backed by U.S. Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford). He will face off with Curran in the Nov. 7 election.