GOP Receiver of Taxes Donald X. Clavin declared victory early Wednesday over Democrat Laura Gillen, Hempstead Town's first Democratic town supervisor in more than a century, appearing to return the country's largest township back to GOP control.
Oyster Bay Town Republican Supervisor Joseph Saladino defeated Democratic challenger James Altadonna Jr., the town's clerk.
In a Glen Cove rematch, incumbent Mayor Timothy Tenke declared victory over former Republican Mayor Reggie Spinello. Democrat Tenke narrowly defeated Spinello, who served two terms as mayor, in 2017.
Clavin had a narrow lead over Gillen, who was seeking a second term, but declared victory in a rousing speech in Westbury.
“We have made promises and we are going to deliver that to the taxpayers," Clavin said. "This is about the taxpayers. This is about a government that works together and does great things.”
But Gillen and party leaders declined to concede, citing 5,500 absentee and military ballots that still must be counted.
"We’re in a tight battle and we do not have the votes at this moment,” said Nassau Democratic Party chairman Jay Jacobs. “I’ve asked the candidate not to concede and we will count every vote.”
Gillen was seeking a second two-year term after her stunning 2017 victory. But much of her agenda has been stymied by a Republican-controlled town board. Gillen has sued the board over town transfers and promotions and successfully invalidated a townwide no-layoff clause.
If reelected, Gillen had promised to root out corruption in town contracts and pay-to-play politics but said she needed more Democratic votes on the board to pass her agenda. Clavin had said he would seek to reduce the town's taxes. He cited his experience hosting forums for residents to reduce their property tax bills and to gain incentives for paying taxes early.
Animal rights advocate Diane Madden was the Libertarian candidate for supervisor.
In Oyster Bay, Saladino, serving his first full term after being appointed to replace former town Supervisor John Venditto in January 2017, faced a challenge from Altadonna, a lifelong Republican running on the Democratic ballot.
Saladino said he had reformed Oyster Bay's government operations, including creating an inspector general position, while also stabilizing the town's finances. Altadonna, the former Massapequa Park mayor, had pledged to reduce debt, pare down the use of contractors to fix local roads and would propose a referendum capping politicians at 10 years in office for any elected town position.
In other races:
- Kate Murray, a Republican former town supervisor seeking a return to politics after a four-year absence, beat Democratic Hempstead Town Clerk Sylvia Cabana, who is seeking a second term. Republican Jeanine Driscoll beat Democrat Chandra Ortiz for Clavin's open seat of receiver of taxes.
On the town board, Republican Councilman Thomas Muscarella, who was appointed in April following the tax evasion conviction of Edward Ambrosino, defeated former Republican Floral Park Mayor Thomas Tweedy, who was nominated on the Democratic line. Republican Chris Carini, a Port Authority police officer, beat Democrat Lora Webster, a Paralympian volleyball player, for the seat vacated in September by Erin King Sweeney. Incumbent Bruce Blakeman won reelection against Democrat Shari Renne James.
- In Oyster Bay, Richard LaMarca beat Democrat Rachel Klein for Altadonna's open town clerk seat. Massapequa Park Mayor Jeffrey Pravato bested Democrat George Hignell for the open receiver of taxes seat. Incumbent GOP town board member Steven Labriola, the lone incumbent, won reelection, along with Republicans Vicki Walsh and Laura Maier.
- In North Hempstead, Democrat Judi Bosworth easily won a fourth term against Republican David Redmond. Democrat Charles Berman won another term as receiver of taxes against Republican Ron Rochester. Democratic Council members Peter Zuckerman and Veronica Lurvey won their reelection contests, but Republican incumbent Dina De Giorgio lost to her Democratic challenger Mariann Dalimonte.
- In Glen Cove, Tenke has sparred with Republican town board members over the city’s $60 million budget for 2020. Tenke said the budget cuts expenses by about $1 million without cutting services or staff while taxes would rise 1.88% — the state tax cap. Tenke assembled the budget without the help of Sandra Clarson, the city’s controller. Clarson, who was fired in August by Tenke and temporarily reinstated following a court order in September, had called the budget “fiscally irresponsible.” Tenke said Clarson's figures were "incorrect."
Incumbent Democratic City Council member Marsha Silverman, along with Democratic challengers Danielle Fugazy Scagliola, Gaitley Stevenson-Mathews and Rocco Totino won while John L. Perrone and Eve Lupenko-Ferrante had the lead over their GOP rivals.
- In the Long Beach City Council race, Democrats Liz Treston and Karen McInnis won while Democrat Ron Paganini had the lead over rivals on both the Working Families and Republican lines. Treston, McInnis and Paganini, a slate of New Wave Democrats, defeated incumbents Anthony Eramo and Chumi Diamond, and their running mate, Jim Mulvaney, in the June Democratic primary. Eramo, Diamond and Mulvaney remained on the ballot with the Working Families Party line but were not actively campaigning. Council President Anissa Moore, a registered Democrat, was seeking a second term on the Republican line with Michael Delury and Lauren Doddato-Goldman.
The new City Council will be tasked with managing an ongoing criminal investigation and the results of two state audits scrutinizing the city’s financial crisis and system of payouts, which found at least $500,000 in improper payouts to city employees.
With John Asbury and Dandan Zou