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Animal rights advocate enters race for Hempstead supervisor

Diane Madden on Wednesday announces her run for

Diane Madden on Wednesday announces her run for Hempstead Town supervisor. Credit: Howard Schnapp

Hempstead animal rights advocate Diane Madden announced her bid for Hempstead Town supervisor Wednesday as the third candidate to enter the race.

Madden, 59, of East Meadow is a registered independent who said she is running with the Libertarian Party nomination. The party must submit her nomination by September, election officials said.

She enters the field with Republican Receiver of Taxes Don Clavin to challenge Democratic Supervisor Laura Gillen, who is seeking her second term.

Madden said she was running for supervisor to give people a voice and to reform town government, including operations and treatment at the troubled town animal shelter.

She was a former supporter of Gillen but said the supervisor has broken promises to reform the shelter.

Madden twice has filed lawsuits against the town for animal shelter operations and has been a frequent critic during town board meetings. She was a former Democratic candidate for town board and was recently considered for a town consultant job before it was pulled for a vote by the town board.

“At the risk of boasting about my advocacy work, no one else in Hempstead’s history has ever pulled back the curtain and veil of secrecy in any other department other than the animal shelter and my focus would be to examine management, spending and hiring practices and operations in each department,” Madden said.

Madden said, if elected, she would call for the resignation of Town Attorney Joe Ra, citing conflicts of interest in the town attorney’s office during internal investigations. Madden would also cut the town’s litigation budget and said she would not take a salary.

Madden adds that she would not be beholden to party politics and would siphon votes from both parties while gaining votes from people who have lost faith in town government.

Gillen, Clavin and Ra did not respond to Madden’s announcement.

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