HEMPSTEAD - The stakes are high in the race for town supervisor in Hempstead - an area that has 800,000 residents.

The seat is being vacated by Kate Murry, who is running for Nassau district attorney.

Republican Anthony Santino is leaning heavily on his 30 years in town government, including 22 years on the Town Board. His priorities include holding the line on taxes and making sure young residents aren't forced out of town by expensive housing and lack of jobs.

"I want to try and do something to create opportunities for young people to come back here," says Santino.

Democratic candidate Rita Kestenbaum served on Hempstead's board 15 years ago. She runs a nonprofit youth counseling service in memory of her daughter Carol, who was murdered in 2007 during a campus shooting in Arizona. Kestenbaum says she will bring a fresh perspective on managing the town.

"We just want to come in there and get some transparency… so that we can see where our tax dollars are actually being spent," says Kestenbaum.

For just about the last 100 years, a Republican has sat in the supervisor's office in the Town of Hempstead, despite a majority of registered Democrats in the town.