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Speculation grows about Hempstead candidates (Updated)

Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray, in the red

Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray, in the red jacket, participates in a photo session in Garden City on Wednesday, April 29, 2015. Photo Credit: Nassau Democrats

Nassau Democrats have yet to say who their candidate will be for the supervisor’s job in Republican-controlled Hempstead Town now that Kate Murray is expected to be the GOP candidate for Nassau District Attorney.

But town Republicans have a good guess: Laura Gillen, a Rockville Centre attorney who ran unsuccessfully against Republican County Clerk Maureen O’Connell in 2013.

They note that Gillen showed up at Tuesday’s Hempstead Town Board meeting, sitting in the middle of the audience in an aisle seat. They also note that she signed in as an observer.

"I love that the Republicans are paying so much attention to me," Gillen responded Thursday. " I was there. I was there to observe"

She explained, "People have approached me about running. I am seriously looking at the race. I  think the Town of Hempstead can use new leadership and new vision. That's all I can say right now."

Nassau Democratic chairman Jay Jacobs Thursday acknowledged, “Laura Gillen is a contender. She would be an excellent candidate.”

He said he also would consider Malverne Mayor Patricia McDonald, whose name has been floated in the past for other races.

But Jacobs, reached in Africa on a trip with former president Bill Clinton, said the party has yet to make a decision as to who its Hempstead supervisor candidate will be.

The Democratic nominating convention will be held the last week in May, Jacobs said.

Nassau Republicans meet next Wednesday to nominate candidates for the November elections. Murray is expected to run for district attorney while the most likely GOP candidate to replace her is senior Hempstead Town Board member Anthony Santino.

GOP officials have declined to comment.

Meanwhile, several Nassau Democrats ran across a Kate Murray photo shoot at lunchtime in Garden City Wednesday. They took their own photos of the photo shoot.

"There's no question that Kate Murray is familiar with the conventions of political campaigns. But she's not as familiar with practicing law -- which she hasn't done in 17 years, said Isaac Goldberg, a campaign spokesman for Madeline Singas, the acting district attorney. Singas “is a career prosecutor, not a politician, and that's what this race will be about."

Singas is seeking the Democratic nomination for district attorney next fall. Murray has yet to officially announce that she is running for the job vacated by Kathleen Rice, a Democrat who was elected to Congress last year. Murray is expected to announce her run for the office next Tuesday.

A Hempstead Town spokesman Thursday declined to comment on the photo shoot or Goldberg’s comment.

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