Hempstead Town Board Republicans on Tuesday named Nasrin Ahmad, the administrative supervisor in the clerk’s office and the Republican’s choice for town clerk, to fill the clerk’s position through the November election.
In a 6-1 vote along party lines, the board named Ahmad, 56, to take the place of former Town Clerk Mark Bonilla, who was removed from office following his conviction for official misconduct in July.
Democratic town Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby cast the lone dissenting vote against Ahmad’s appointment, accusing town Republicans of using the appointment to give Ahmad an edge in the November election.
“It’s not a Democratic process. I don’t think it’s right and she will now run as an incumbent which gives her an advantage over those who are running.” Goosby said. “If she’s running as an incumbent, it gives her the clout that her opponents will not have.”
Republicans selected Ahmad in May to run for Bonilla’s post in November. A Salisbury resident, she has been an administrative supervisor in the clerk’s office for 15 years.
Ahmad’s appointment enables her to run as an incumbent against Conservative Party town Clerk candidate Patricia Basso-Friedman in the Conservative Party primary on Tuesday and in the general election as a Republican against Levittown insurance law attorney Jasmine Garcia-Vieux, the Democratic nominee for town clerk.
First Deputy Town Clerk Phil Guarneri served as interim town clerk after Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered Bonilla’s removal following his conviction.
Goosby said the board should have left Guarneri in the position until the election determined a permanent successor to Bonilla.
“It’s bypassing democracy. They’re just trying to influence the election by making her an incumbent,” said Felix Procacci, the Democratic candidate for Town of Hempstead supervisor, who called Ahmad a “political hack.”
Senior town Councilman and Nassau County GOP spokesman Anthony Santino dismissed the idea that Ahmad’s appointment was politically motivated.
“In doing the people’s business, we must be blind to the political calendar. The fact that a general election is over two months away has no bearing whatsoever on the actions of this board,” Santino said in a statement. “While the first deputy town clerk is doing a fine job in an interim capacity, it is in the best interest of the people to have an individual actually vested with the authority of the town clerk as the head of that office.”
Since 2009, Ahmad has been overseeing operations in the marriage section and other divisions within the office.
“I really have not given thought to anything else but how to work with my colleagues and to continue my service to the residents,” Ahmad said. “I haven’t thought of anything political. I feel qualified compared to anyone else.”
Raised in the United Kingdom, she holds a diploma of higher education in environmental sciences from Canterbury College in Kent.
Ahmad’s professional career began at Barclays Bank Regent Street in London, working in foreign exchange, securities and trusts and loans. Ahmad continued her banking career at First National Bank of Long Island, later moving on to an administrative position in the publishing field.
She is a member of the South Asian Political Action Committee, working to foster government involvement within the local South Asian community.