The common thread tying together the Hicksville Republican Club and Mangano’s campaign is Rob Walker. How did a relatively unknown former lawmaker rise to his current position of power in Nassau County? One could say he came full circle. One summer, before his political career got off the ground, Walker interned for Mangano in the county Legislature.
The son of longtime Nassau County politician Rose Marie Walker, who took over Mangano’s seat in the county Legislature after he became county executive, Rob later became an assistant to Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto, where he was director of traffic survey and constituent services. After, Walker served for three years as deputy parks commissioner for Oyster Bay before running for the Assembly in a 2005 special election, which he won.
Walker’s tenure as the assemblyman representing Oyster Bay was of little note, though his lack of accomplishments can be attributed to his being a Republican in the Democrat-dominated Assembly, rather than being a reflection on Walker’s chops as a legislator. In 2008 Walker left the Assembly to run Mangano’s campaign. When Mangano pulled off his unexpected victory over Suozzi, Walker was suddenly in a prime position to play a pivotal role in running Nassau County