Clavin, Gillen to face off for Hempstead Town Supervisor

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Hempstead Receiver of Taxes Don Clavin at a press event Tuesday announcing his bid for town Supervisor. (Photo by Jed Hendrixson)

Hempstead Receiver of Taxes Donald Clavin has announced that he will be running for town supervisor on the Republican ticket against Democrat Laura Gillen this November.

At a press event in front of Ancona Pizzeria & Restaurant in Valley Stream, surrounded by elected officials and constituents cheering “Don, Don, Don”, Clavin said he was running this fall to “put taxpayers first.”

Clavin used the event to launch his campaign and target the fiscal decisions current Hempstead Town Supervisor Laura Gillen has made.

“I was profoundly disappointed that the first financial act of the current supervisor was to propose a budget that hiked taxes by $2 million,” Clavin said. “It’s time to cut spending instead of boosting taxes.”

Alongside Nassau Republican Committee Chairman Joseph Cairo and Republican Town Council members Bruce Blakeman and Erin King Sweeney, Clavin also announced that former Town Supervisor Kate Murray would be his running mate in the race for town clerk.

“I am happy to be a part of Don’s team,” Murray said. “I know that we will work well together to deliver top-quality services to residents at the lowest possible cost.”

Murray, the first woman to be elected Hempstead supervisor, served in the position from 2003 to 2015.

Last week at a Democratic Party event, Nassau County Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs announced that Gillen, the current supervisor, would be running for re-election, alongside clerk Sylvia Cabana.

In a statement, Jacobs described Murray’s decision to run as “a gift that keeps on giving.”

“Murray, once Supervisor, left the Town with millions in deficits and debt, and skyrocketing taxes until Laura Gillen took over reigns in 2017,” Jacobs said. “Now, after sending the Islanders to Brooklyn, she has returned to bring the Town of Hempstead back to financial mismanagement, tax increases, and cronyism.”

Jacobs also slammed Clavin’s announcement as wasteful and characterized it as the opposite of his platform, claiming the receiver has spent hundreds of thousands of taxpayers’ dollars to promote himself.

Former Floral Park Mayor Thomas Tweedy, a lifelong Republican, also recently announced he would be running for office alongside Gillen in the race for the Town Council’s 2nd district seat.

“The time has come for inspired, honorable leaders whose goal is to serve and not enrich, to unite and not divide, to advocate and not obfuscate,” Tweedy said at a news conference. “It is time to return integrity to this office and to the town board.”

Tweedy will be running for Councilman Ed Ambrosino’s seat.

“The Republican Committee is disappointed and shocked that former Mayor and registered Republican Thomas Tweedy would join the tax-hiking Gillen/Curran team in his bid for Hempstead Town Council,” Deery said in a statement.

Nassau County Republican Party leaders said they will not back Ambrosino for the seat in the November election, party spokesman Michael Deery said. Efforts to reach Ambrosino were unavailing.

Ambrosino is slated to go on trial in federal court Feb. 25 to face wire fraud and tax evasion charges. Prosecutors allege that Ambrosino neglected to report $800,000 of the $1.3 million he made while working for two government agencies to the Uniondale-based law firm where he was employed, according to courts filings.

On Tuesday, Cairo announced that the party has nominated Tom Muscarella to run for Ambrosino’s seat.

“Hempstead Town is at a crossroads,” Clavin said. “Our taxpayers are at the breaking point and they can stand no more. Homeowners deserve a supervisor who will hold the line on taxes, aggressively control unchecked government spending and work collaboratively with other members of the town board of tax relief.”

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