Former Town of Hempstead Supervisor Laura Gillen declared victory in the 4th Congressional District’s Democratic Primary election last night.
Gillen, who was endorsed by incumbent U.S. Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-Garden City), received more than 12,400 votes, 63%, with approximately 95% of the ballots reported as of Wednesday morning.
She led Nassau County Legislator Carrie Solages who had 4,811 votes, Malverne Mayor Keith Corbett who received 2,169 votes and Muzibul Huq who received 297 votes.
Gillen, who served as supervisor for the largest township in the United States from 2018 to 2019, was the first Democrat elected to the position in a century in an upset over incumbent Anthony Santino.
“I have been known as the first Democratic supervisor in the Town of Hempstead in over 100 years, but tonight I want you to remember me as your next congresswoman in the 4th Congressional District,” Gillen said.
Prior to serving as supervisor, Gillen worked at the law firm of Westerman Ball Ederer Miller Zucker & Sharfstein.
Some of the issues facing the district that Gillen believes are the most pressing include the economy, crime, gun safety, women’s reproductive rights and voting rights.
Gillen said working to repeal the cap on state and local taxes and providing financial relief for middle-class families are some of her top priorities if elected.
Getting illegal weapons off the street, she said, will aid in diminishing the growing crime rates throughout the district, along with sensible gun legislation and universal background checks.
Removing hindrances for women to access the necessary health programs and family planning resources, she said, are also of vital importance to her.
“Our campaign and our country is one step closer to ensuring that women have access to the care that they need and that they have autonomy over their own medical decisions,” she said. “We are one step closer to cracking down on illegal guns and the gun violence that plagues our communities and our schools and protecting our children. And we are one step closer to protecting this great nation from extremist politicians who want to upend our fair election process and the rule of law.”
New district maps were submitted recently by a court-appointed special master and have been viewed as more neutral compared to ones that were rejected by a state appeals court earlier this year.
The 4th Congressional District comprises central and southern Nassau County, including Floral Park, Garden City, Hempstead, Mineola, Carle Place, New Hyde Park and Westbury. Under newly drawn redistricting maps, it also takes in the villages of East Williston, Williston Park, Lake Success and some unincorporated parts of the Town of North Hempstead.
Gillen will face Republican Anthony D’Esposito, who serves as a councilman representing the Town of Hempstead’s 4th District. D’Esposito, a retired NYPD detective who lives in Island Park, was endorsed by the Nassau County Republican Party in March.
Great Neck’s Robert Zimmerman declared himself victorious in the 3rd Congressional District’s Democratic Primary on Tuesday as well. Zimmerman, as of Wednesday morning received with 9,482, or 36%, of the votes, with 95% of the ballots reported.
Former North Hempstead Supervisor Jon Kaiman was in second place as of Wednesday morning, with 6,884 votes. Nassau County Legislator Josh Lafazan was in third place with 5,296 votes, Melanie D’Arrigo received 4,197 votes and Reema Rasool received 661 votes.
While the 3rd Congressional District under the new proposal does not extend as far west as the Bronx or Westchester, it does stretch to more southern parts of Nassau County, such as Hicksville and Massapequa. The new lines do exclude the parts of the district that now stretch into Suffolk County, mainly Huntington and Smithtown.
The candidates ran for the seat left vacant by U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove) who ran in the state’s gubernatorial primary race in June, only to lose to Gov. Kathy Hochul. Zimmerman will face Republican George Santos in the district’s November general election.