Long Beach Democrats have elected a new party chairman, but party leader Michael Zapson has resisted leaving his post and turning over campaign funds and property.
The New Long Beach Democrats Committee, which was formed in June to nominate candidates for a City Council primary, unanimously elected Long Beach attorney Rob Solomon on Thursday as the new Long Beach zone and city chairman, to represent the city in the Nassau County Democratic Party.
Solomon said he wants to unite all Democrats in Long Beach. "I would like it to be more inclusive and do my best to elect the best candidates without undue influence, to move the city forward," he said.
Nassau County Democratic chairman Jay Jacobs said Friday that Zapson's role and his old committee were effectively dissolved. "There is one entity of the Long Beach Democratic Committee and its members. It is one and the same as county members who reside in this city," Jacobs said. "Now that chairman is Rob Solomon. He has replaced Mike Zapson, who is out of office. The new committee replaced the old committee. It was all folded into one."
Jacobs called on Zapson to turn over the committee's Long Beach office and its campaign war chest, which showed $83,157 in its finance report from July.
Zapson, who did not attend Thursday's committee meeting, said he would not relinquish any funds or property. He said he has not been part of the Nassau County organization for two years but he may resign from the Long Beach committee after the November election.
"The Long Beach Democratic Committee is separate and apart from the Nassau County Democratic Committee and nothing is being transferred," Zapson said in an email Friday.
Zapson and Jacobs have been in a long-running feud, with each repeatedly calling on the other to resign.
Zapson's committee members, who in the past elected the Long Beach chairman, were invalidated by a Nassau County Supreme Court judge after Jacobs argued their nominating petitions did not state that they represented Long Beach.
That left Jacobs' committee members to run unopposed when they were elected during the Democratic primary last month.
While Zapson reiterated that "the Long Beach Democratic Committee will continue to exist, and I'm still chairman,"Jacobs said the Long Beach Democratic Committee cannot operate independently, according to the Nassau County Democrats' bylaws. "By law, there is only one Long Beach Democratic Committee, and he is no longer its leader."