Martins said his top priorities include “restoring public faith in government” through term limits for county elected officials, restructuring the county board of ethics to reduce political influences, and requiring that the county legislature approve the hiring of a county commissioner of investigations. That position, which has the power to review county contracts for improprieties, now answers only to the county executive and does not have to issue any public reports. “There is a very simple, straightforward solution,” Martins said. He also supports having towns handle their own assessment systems, as is the practice nearly everywhere else in the state, and converting vacant structures at Nassau University Medical Center into dedicated treatment centers for people addicted to heroin and opioids. Martins said Nassau County can better use its reach and resources to advance transit-oriented development projects that would attract more young professionals to the region. “The county has tremendous resources that local governments simply don’t have,” Martins said. “They have to be part of that process.”
Martins, 50, of Old Westbury, is running for county executive on the Republican, Conservative and Reform party lines. A first-generation American whose parents emigrated from Portugal in the 1960s, Martins is a lawyer and serves as vice president of his family’s commercial construction company, J & A Concrete of Bohemia. He graduated from St. John’s University School of Law and got his undergraduate degree from American University. Martins was a state senator from 2011 to 2016, where he chaired the Senate Labor Committee and the Workforce Development Task Force, and was a member of the state Regional Economic Development Council. From 2003 to 2010, he served as mayor of Mineola Village. Last year, he lost an election to represent the 3rd Congressional District. Martins is married and has four daughters.