Written by Joe Scotchie Friday, 20 September 2013 00:00
Adam Haber’s campaign to win the Democratic Party’s primary election for Nassau County executive always seemed like a long shot. Prior to the campaign, Haber was known locally as a valued member of the Roslyn School Board. However, his name recognition countywide was probably quite small, plus he was running against Thomas R. Suozzi, a former mayor of Glen Cove, a former candidate for governor and a two-term county executive who had barely lost his bid for a third term four years ago against the current incumbent, Edward P. Mangano.
Last Tuesday, Sept. 10, Haber’s candidacy ended when he lost to Suozzi by a 59 to 41 percent margin. Suozzi received 19,271 votes, compared to 13,566 for Haber. Turnout was light as only nine percent of eligible Nassau County
Democratic Party voters showed up at the voting booths. In defeat, Haber promised to remain active in civic affairs as an “advocate” for both his supporters and to all county residents. The county executive’s race, meanwhile, will now see a rematch of the 2009 contest between Suozzi and Mangano.
Haber’s initial run for a countywide race received support from law enforcement and environmental groups. He was endorsed by both the Park Advocacy & Recreation Council of Nassau County (PARCnassau) and the Long Island Law
Enforcement Alliance. Bruce Piel, chairman of PARCnassau, praised Haber’s “new vision” for the park system, while denouncing the privatization policies of both Suozzi and Mangano. In addition, Darrin Green, president of Blacks in Law
Enforcement, a group that is part of the alliance stated, “Adam is the right candidate for the job. He has demonstrated time and time again his connection with our communities and his commitment to law enforcement.”
Haber’s maverick candidacy portrayed him as a political outsider, a successful businessman and a cost-cutting member of the Roslyn School Board, which at the time of Haber’s election had been embroiled in an embezzlement scandal concerning a former superintendent and several other district employees. His campaign was also noticeable for criticizing “pay to play” politics, patronage and for promising to reform the tax assessment system.
None of this was enough to overcome Suozzi’s high name recognition. Indeed, the former county executive was the subject of Draft Suozzi movement before making his official announcement last winter. Still, Haber’s respectable showing means that he should remain a presence in county politics for years to come.