MINEOLA, Nassau County (WABC) -- On the heels of Nassau County police searching for human remains related to murders at the hands of the brutal MS-13, the Republican candidate for county executive has tapped into concerns over the violent gang.
The state GOP committee has sent out a controversial mailing suggesting Jack Martins' Democratic opponent Laura Curran is "MS-13's choice" for the position, going on to say, "She shouldn't be yours."
Democrats in Nassau County call it a desperate attempt at fear mongering and accuse the GOP of "trying to capitalize on real tragedy."
But Martins, a former Republican state senator, is standing by the mailing. His campaign maintains that groups backing his opponent support sanctuary laws and are looking to "block the efforts of federal law enforcement to arrest members of the MS-13 gang."
Curran said she was simply stunned and that she in no way supports violent criminals who are here illegally being allowed to stay in the country. Advocates for immigrants are also fuming over the mailing, accusing the Martins campaign of "demonizing" minorities, race baiting, and linking all immigrants to a violent gang.
The GOP committee told Eyewitness News they believe the mailing is justified because Democrats have been to soft on illegal immigrants.
"Laura Curran has aligned herself with Bill de Blasio and the New York City liberals who support sanctuary policies that protect dangerous criminals like MS-13 gang members who are terrorizing Long Island," spokesperson Jessica Proud said in a statement. "The only outrage should be over the murder of teenage girls at the hands of these savages. Shame on them."
Curran and Martins are neck and neck in the polls, with Election Day less than a week away. They are both vying for the position currently held by Republican Ed Mangano since 2010. Mangano has been indicted in a federal corruption probe.
Nassau political ad includes 'MS-13's choice' for county executive