The Democratic Party headquarters for Town of North Hempstead and Nassau County candidates located at 169 Middle Neck Road in Great Neck has officially opened its doors, ushering in a new phase of campaign activities for the upcoming elections in November.
The event brought together a lineup of Democratic candidates, including Jon Kaiman, Veronica Lurvey, Christine Liu, Peter Zuckerman, Mariann Dalimonte and Weihua Yan. Each in attendance gave updates on their campaigns to canvassers and residents alike and made pledges to better serve the community.
At the forefront of the Democratic ticket stands Kaiman, former North Hempstead town supervisor from 2004 to 2013. Kaiman reflected on the challenges that faced the nation during the previous town election and underscored the need for responsible governance in tumultuous times.
He said the previous election was a reflection of what was going on around us. “And so we know that we have to take this seriously. We know that we can’t take anything for granted. We know that good people in the Democratic Party know how to lead, we can be trusted, we have experience. We have the roots that show that we understand what our community wants.”
Kaiman also directed his attention toward his Republican counterparts, characterizing the Republican Party as the “party of lies.” He cited specific instances, including U.S. Rep. George Santos, as an example of continuous dishonesty within the Republican ranks. Kaiman rallied his fellow Democrats by asserting “we are going to show them that the lie that the other side tells us are not true.”
He said that current party registration states there are 70,000 Democrats in the Town of North Hempstead, 45,000 Republicans and 2,000 conservatives.
“We still have the numbers,” Kaiman said. “We are going to show them that the lies that the other side tells us are not true, but it doesn’t matter because we have the true message which is that we have the Democratic Party behind us. The Democratic Party is emerging again.”
Wayne Wink, former town clerk of North Hempstead, expressed his confidence in the Democratic Party’s ability to effectively govern. He criticized the current town supervisor, Jennifer DeSena, although not naming her directly.
“All you need to do is look at the last 18 months and know what it takes to run a good government because we don’t have her,” Wink said, “We don’t have a supervisor now. We had somebody who floats around from press conference to press release to photo opt and political events. That’s all we have in a supervisor right now.”
The discussion extended to the candidates vying for positions on the town board. Dalimonte, Zuckerman, and Liu all addressed the gathering. Liu, who said she has knocked on around 7,000 doors, recounted the enthusiastic reception from residents who appreciated the direct engagement they have been lacking.
“Everyone is very excited when they see that we’re at the door knocking,” Liu said. “First of all, they say thank you for coming, because no one ever comes to this part to knock on our doors. And it shows and it makes a difference.”
She said after a while with no one showing up, residents were disillusioned.
“But we were there to show them and we took notes of what was going on and we’re gonna deliver and we’re gonna deliver time and time again,” Lui said.
Yan, a candidate aiming to become the first Asian-American in the county Legislature, said he wants to address hate crimes and aid small businesses. Yan started campaigning four months ago and said it was harder than being an entrepreneur.
Yan said that after campaigning, he’s noticed how important public safety is to residents. “We have a lot of hate crimes against Jewish people, Asians,” he said, telling the audience he wants to use every level of government use to fight against those crimes.
Lurvey, who is running for receiver of taxes, said the role is much more than receiving and disbursing, but also entails accountability. “Mistakes are being made in Nassau County…do you think Blakeman is going to step forward and say it and admit these mistakes?” she said, referring to the Nassau County GOP chief.
She said in her experience as majority leader on the town board she has been fighting against individuals who don’t want to govern.
“They just have absolutely no interest in learning,” she said, “All they do is deflect, they play the victim game.” She also said they don’t have a plan or vision, but want to keep other people down and keep themselves in power. She told the audience if you don’t elect good Democrats, gun control lessens, there are rollbacks on environmental protections and roads will suffer.