Island Vote: Hempstead's 1st Democrat supervisor in over a century looks to retain seat

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Hempstead Town Supervisor Laura Gillen -- the first Democrat to hold the post in more than a century - will face off against Republican Hempstead Town Tax Receiver Don Clavin this Election Day.

Gillen calls herself a fiscal conservative and says she wants to continue her push to lower taxes and fight corruption.

But at Republican headquarters, volunteers are working fast to retake the office. Clavin is who they're betting on, and he brings 18 years of experience in the tax receiver role.

Clavin says cutting taxes is also his top priority, as well as slashing expenses.

"On day one, I am going to save $1 million just by slashing the budget of the supervisor's office," says Clavin.

Clavin also outlined a plan to eliminate take-home cars for senior commissioners and deputies, a move Gillen calls a political stunt. Gillen says Clavin just turned in the keys to his town car that he had for 18 years.

"The reality is Mr. Clavin can't bring himself to say there is a corruption problem in the Town of Hempstead," says Gillen.

The third candidate on the ticket is a Libertarian. Diane Madden is a grandmother and longtime Hempstead resident who says it's time for people, not politicians, to have a say.

"No matter the appearances - what's in the equation for Democrats and Republicans are themselves, their jobs, their power - not the people," says Madden.

With the state's largest town up for grabs, candidates are hoping this year's early voting option will help ramp up the numbers for voter turnout.

 

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