Gillen makes history as first Democratic Hempstead supervisor in more than a century


For the first time in more than a century, the Town of Hempstead will have a Democratic supervisor. Laura Gillen, a Rockville Centre attorney, defeated incumbent Republican Anthony Santino on Tuesday night by roughly 2,000 votes.

Santino had faced withering criticism over the past several months from council members of his own party, alleging transparency issues and corruption.

Gillen said that her victory was one for all town residents. “We are going into a new era in the Town of Hempstead, and I thank you all for your support,” Gillen said in her victory speech.

Santino conceded the race Wednesday morning, vowing to work with Gillen toward a smooth transition.

"I congratulate Ms. Gillen on her victory and wish her the best of success as she assumes the position of Hempstead Town Supervisor," Santino said. "I look forward to working cooperatively with her to ensure a smooth transition for our township’s residents."

Baldwin Democrat Laura Curran also pulled out a victory over Republican Jack Martins in the race for Nassau County’s highest seat, with virtually all precincts reporting.

Both Curran and Martins campaigned heavily on anticorruption platforms, as outgoing County Executive Ed Mangano battled federal criminal charges, to which he has pleaded not guilty.

“Tonight, Nassau voted to end the culture of corruption,” Curran said in her victory speech, “and to give our county the fresh start we deserve.”

Curran went on to say that she planned to make Nassau County “a better place for all our residents,” and to make county government accountable to the voters “and only to them.”