Hempstead Supervisor Laura Gillen officially conceded her town seat to Republican challenger Donald Clavin after a count of county absentee ballots Thursday.
“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as the first Democratic supervisor in 112 years. To those who supported my good government initiatives and fight against corruption, I am disappointed to say we fell just short,” Gillen said in a statement.
Clavin’s campaign office said his win for Hempstead supervisor was “reaffirmed” after Nassau County Board of Elections declared him the victor after counting absentee ballots.
Gillen had previously opted out of conceding on election night to wait on 5,500 absentee ballots that still needed to be counted.
“I want to thank the voters of Hempstead Town for giving me the opportunity to serve as the next supervisor of America’s largest township,” Clavin said. “I am dedicated to an inclusive and forward-thinking administration that will focus on providing the best government services at the lowest possible cost. “
Clavin, the long-time Republican receiver of taxes for the town, had already claimed victory in a tight race for the Hempstead supervisor seat in early Nov. against the incumbent Democrat Laura Gillen.
Clavin led Gillen, who was seeking a second two-year term and is the first Democratic supervisor for the town in over 100 years, by 74,123 votes to 72,731, a difference of 1392 votes.
Stephen Marx, a representative from the Nassau County Board of Elections, said that the absentee ballots actually increased the difference between the two candidates to 1,650 votes.
“I wish the current supervisor, Laura Gillen, well and I look forward to working closely with her to facilitate a smooth and orderly transition. I also want to congratulate my running-mates on the town team for their support and assistance in this year’s campaign,” Clavin said.
Gillen said she plans for a smooth transition of power, unlike the one she had with her Republican predecessor Anthony Santino.
“Accordingly, I will transition the office in an orderly and professional manner, unlike the transition after I was elected when nearly 200 transfers, raises, and promotions at the eleventh hour were approved in order to secure favors and benefits for future political gain at taxpayer expense,” she said.
Clavin will be sworn as supervisor early Jan. at Hempstead Town Hall.