Nassau County Republicans tapped Hempstead Town Receiver of Taxes Don Clavin last week to try to unseat Democratic Hempstead Town Supervisor Laura Gillen in the November elections.
In releasing its slate of 2019 candidate endorsements during the Nassau GOP convention at Levittown Hall on Feb. 19, the party is betting that Clavin can unseat the first Democrat in more than a century to win the town’s top job in the Republican stronghold.
“Hempstead Town families need a public official who is putting taxpayers first,” said Clavin.
The Republican nominations came a week after Nassau Democrats held their convention. Under New York State’s new election reform law, primaries will be moved front September to June, bumping up the calendar for potential challengers to party nominees.
Clavin has been a vocal critic of Democratic Nassau County Executive Laura Curran’s property tax reassessment, which has many homeowners’ tax bills in flux.
“I am proud to announce that I am running for Hempstead Town Supervisor, because it’s time to put taxpayers first,” said Clavin. “I will work with all of the council members in a bipartisan fashion to hold the line on taxes and control government spending.”
Republican Hempstead Town Councilman Bruce Blakeman, who broke ranks with his party in a fight with former Hempstead Town Supervisor Anthony Santino and backed Gillen’s candidacy two years ago, endorsed Clavin this time.
Nassau Republicans also tapped former Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray, now vice president of institutional advancement at Nassau Community College, to challenge Democratic Hempstead Town Clerk Sylvia Cabana.
The Nassau GOP did not name a candidate to run against Democratic Nassau District Attorney Madeline Singas, who Murray lost to in 2015 when Murray opted against running for re-election as town supervisor.
The GOP hopes to increase its majority in the Nassau County Legislature, where it currently has an 11-8 majority. Besides endorsing the 11 Republican incumbents on that panel, the party also endorsed six candidates to challenge the eight Democrats.
The challengers include Cherice P. Vanderhall against Democratic Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams (D-Hempstead), Daniel A. Salamone against Legis. Debra Mulé (D-Freeport), Helene Sherman against Legis. Ellen Birnbaum (D-Great Neck), James M. Greenberg against Legis. Delia DeRiggi-Whitton (D-Glen Cove), Jennifer L. Garber against Legis. Arnold Drucker (D-Plainview), and Timothy Jenks against Legis. Joshua Lafazan (D-Syosset).