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North Hempstead supervisor race under way

North Hempstead Councilwoman Dina De Giorgio (R-Port Washington)

North Hempstead Councilwoman Dina De Giorgio (R-Port Washington) speaks during an interview in Port Washington. (April 15, 2013) Credit: Steven Pfost

Dina De Giorgio, the North Hempstead Republican councilwoman from Port Washington, said she will run for town supervisor.

The town, which has a Democratic-controlled board, has not had a GOP supervisor since 1989.

Democrat Jon Kaiman, supervisor since 2004, Wednesday was mum on a possible re-election bid, calling any announcement "premature."

De Giorgio will formally announce her candidacy tonight at H on the Harbor on Main Street in Port Washington. In a speech, a copy of which she provided, the 45-year-old attorney paints Kaiman as uninterested in the job. Last fall, he was mentioned as a top contender for Long Island Power Authority chief executive; earlier this year, he mulled a bid for Nassau County executive before dropping out. North Hempstead, she says, is his "safety school." "I don't think that Jon Kaiman wants the job anymore, and I do," said De Giorgio during an interview Tuesday.

De Giorgio criticized the town's building department, calling it "not consumer friendly." She described "deficiencies in the town government," calling its finances unsustainable, with too much short-term debt.

A registered Democrat before running as a Republican in 2011, De Giorgio ousted longtime incumbent Fred Pollack.

In her speech, De Giorgio, who practices family law, uses colorful language to describe Kaiman. "The people of the Town of North Hempstead have lived under a kind of tyranny for the past 12 years." Kaiman said: "I'm not going to engage in a political battle in April; there's plenty of time for a campaign."

Kevin Clemency, a spokesman for the North Hempstead Democratic Committee, said the full party slate will be announced, the latest, at the county's Democratic convention on May 28. He added that council members Lee Seeman and Viviana Russell will seek re-election, though he declined to comment on the races for supervisor and town clerk. Incumbent Democratic Town Clerk Leslie Gross said she will run.

A Democratic Party source said that if Kaiman opts out, Nassau County Legis. Judi Bosworth (D-Great Neck) will likely be the party's nominee.

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