Nassau County Clerk - Democrat

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Nassau County Clerk - Democrat

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Dean E. Bennett:

Background:
Bennett, 51, of Baldwin, is running in a Democratic primary. He is also running on the Working Families and Womens Equality party lines in the general election. He is making his first run for public office. A Hofstra University graduate, he has a bachelor’s degree in business management and economics and a master’s in human resources. Bennett served as Nassau’s director of Equal Employment Opportunity and as deputy director of minority affairs under former Democratic County Executive Thomas Suozzi. He served two years as executive director of the Empire State Development Corp.’s division of minority and women business development, appointed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in 2011. He runs a management consulting firm, J.K. Bennett and Associates, which he started in 2010. It specializes in business development and diversity issues. He is married and has three children.

Issues:
Bennett said he wants to bring accountability, professionalism, service and innovation to the county clerk’s office, to make sure that its public records are accessible and protected. He said he would use his experience in county and state government to provide better management of the clerk’s office records and employees while updating its operations to reflect 21st century technology. He said he helped streamline the purchasing office and procurement system while working in Nassau. At the state level, he said he converted the certification process for minority- and women-owned businesses from paper to an online system.

Carl Dehaney Jr.:

Background:
DeHaney, 50, of Roosevelt, is running in a Democratic primary. He is a community service representative for the Nassau County Human Services department, in the office of the physically challenged. He is part of a team of independent Democrats who are challenging party nominees, arguing for more diversity and community representation within the Nassau County Democratic Party structure. DeHaney serves as a commissioner in Hempstead Sanitary District No. 2 in Baldwin, elected in 2014. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Adelphi University in management and communication and received a master’s degree in public administration from Long Island University’s Brooklyn campus. He is married and has two children.

Issues:
DeHaney said working for the county in human services and drug programs for the past 14 years has given him an opportunity to see how many services communities of color “don’t get and should get.” He said he wanted to partner with a team to make Nassau County government more accessible to its residents. The county clerk is the official record keeper, he said. “If you want to do any kind of research for what our communities need, it has to start with good information.” He said most people, particularly in minority communities, have no idea what the clerk’s office does and what records it keeps. While not criticizing the current Republican county clerk, DeHaney said other clerk offices in the state and nation are more efficient and provide more ways to access their information.

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