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Town Clerk Candidates Square Off at LWV Forum

Candidates discuss the issues Wednesday in Manhasset.




In an election year where voting districts and party affiliations have changed for some in local races, candidates Wayne Wink and Leslie Gross explained to voters Wednesday why they are best suited for the job of North Hempstead town clerk.

During a well-attended League of Women Voters-sponsored forum in Manhasset at Unitarian Universalist Congregation, the candidates agreed that Gross was the best town clerk the Town of North Hempstead has ever had — but Wink said he could do a better job.

"I may have said she was the best clerk the town has ever had, but I will be a better clerk and that's what's important," said Wink, D-Roslyn.

The two-term District 11 legislator said the reason he is running for town clerk is because it would be difficult for him to win reelection in a district gerrymandered by Republicans in an attempt to hold majority power in the Nassau County Legislature.

"The fact of the matter is, I was not going to be a legislator this year," said Wink.

After redistricting, Nassau District 11 represents Port Washington but no longer most of Manhasset and Roslyn. It now includes Sea Cliff and all of Glen Cove. 

District 9, which had represented most of the southern portion of the Town of North Hempstead, now includes most of Manhasset and Roslyn.  

Wink said there were discussions regarding possible runs at various elected offices, but he said the town clerk position is the one he is best suited for. 

"I look forward to the opportunity to represent you people in North Hempstead," said Wink, a former North Hempstead councilman for five years.

Gross accused her opponent of seeking four jobs in four months, including Nassau County comptroller, his current legislative position, town supervisor and town clerk.

"I don't think he really knows what he wants to do," said Gross.

Gross, North Hempstead’s town clerk since her appointment in April 2007 as a Democrat, explained her recent switch to the Republican Party.

"When some of the Democratic Party bosses realized they couldn't tell me how to run my office, I was removed from the ticket," said Gross. "Fortunately, I was approached and I am able to run again."

Election Day is Nov. 5.

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