It was a big announcement just four days before the election. Glen Cove mayoral candidate had earned an endorsement from fellow Republican heavyweight .
It's an endorsement the congressman on Sunday said did not ring true.
The supposed endorsement, which was announced via e-mail from a Glen Cove Republican City Council candidate and distributed as a brochure throughout the city Saturday, stated the following:
“I exclusively and enthusiastically endorse Paul Meli and his entire team for Glen Cove. This Tuesday, voters have a clear choice. Paul Meli will bring fiscal stability back to the city while generating business and creating new jobs. Make no mistake! The only candidate that I support for Glen Cove mayor is Paul Meli. Vote for Team Meli to restore, revitalize and rebuild Glen Cove.”
But King, R-Seaford, and his representatives said he made no such announcement.
Anne Rosenfeld, treasurer for King, denied the endorsement in a phone call to Patch.com.
“Officially, the congressman is not endorsing anyone in the race,” Rosenfeld said.
Two statements have since been released from King’s office regarding the race. In the first one, King said he “never saw, made or authorized that statement.”
King added: “Indeed, I had made it clear that I would not be issuing any statement in the Mayor's race.”
A revised statement from King was released Sunday:
"I have been informed that the statement in a Republican campaign brochure against Mayor Suozzi, which was wrongly attributed to me was not authorized by Paul Meli but his campaign committee," King said. "I accept Paul's word. I have known Paul Meli for a number of years and he has always been honest in his dealings with me. I consider him to be a friend."
Glen Cove Mayor , who is running for re-election, struck back at Meli.
"I have said all along that my opponents have deliberately misled the public regarding the City's finances,” Suozzi said. “Now they have gone so far as to falsely quote an honored and respected United States Congressman. Our community, our Congressman, and our country deserve better."
Suozzi added: "While I appreciate hearing that Mr. Meli denies knowledge and involvement in the distribution of this literature, I remain concerned that his supporters and campaign committee were circulating falsehoods and lies.”
Meli has released the following statement regarding the congressman's endorsement:
"Early this morning, I was forwarded a copy of an e-mail between Congressman King’s and Mayor Suozzi’s wives. I was as surprised as anyone at its content, and still believe, based upon communications between my campaign staff and that of the congressman, that the flyer from my campaign was accurate when issued.
"While I have no idea what occurred since then, and have not spoken to the Congressman, I understand that his office will be issuing clarification on this matter. I would refer you to him for any further comment.
"As far as a statement of the mayor that was also forwarded, I believe that the state of the City’s finances speak for themselves, as evidenced by the annual critical reviews of Glen Cove’s budgets by the State Comptroller, Moody’s recent downgrade of its bonds, an ever growing deficit and tax increases that total more than 58 percent since Mayor Suozzi took office. I didn’t create these circumstances, I just reported."