Seaford resident Christopher Carini has announced his campaign for the 5th Councilmanic District in the Town of Hempstead. He replaces Erin King Sweeney on the ballot, who dropped her re-election candidacy on Sept. 12.
Carini boasts several community-oriented accomplishments. Carini is a Port Authority police officer, a former MTA police officer and previously served as an officer with the New York Police Department, according to a news release. He also serves as the vice president of the Wantagh-Seaford Homeowners’ Association and is on the Nassau County Police Commissioner’s Community Council.
As the vice president of the Homeowners’ Association, Carini has pushed the Long Island Rail Road and the Metropolitan Transportaton Authority to remove graffiti at local train stations; increase policing at the stations; repair broken escalators; and enforce quality-of-life issues at commuter centers. Additionally, he has helped establish a community watch to combat neighborhood burglaries and other crimes.
“I am eager to continue my work on behalf of neighbors in the 5th Councilmanic District,” Carini said. “And, I am excited to join Don Clavin, Hempstead Town’s next Supervisor, in reducing government spending and taxes, slashing patronage and repairing the town’s roadway system.”
Carini is retiring from the Port Authority Police Force to dedicate his time to the campaign. “I have really enjoyed serving my community and working to maintain it as a safe and desirable place in which to live, work and raise a family,” he said. “Working to help area homeowners is something to which I am dedicated, and as a Town Councilman, I will be able to do even more.”
In a statement on Sept. 12, Sweeney, a Republican from Wantagh, said, “My husband’s job has been relocated to North Carolina. Therefore, based upon the needs of my family, I will not be a candidate for re-election.”
“My personal journey over the last year has made me appreciate more than ever the importance of family,” she added. “I send my deepest gratitude and best wishes to the residents of the 5th Councilmanic District whom I have had the privilege to serve.”
Sweeney was appointed to serve as the representative for the town’s 5th district — which covers Baldwin, a portion of Freeport, Merrick, Bellmore, Wantagh and Seaford — following the retirement of Angie Cullin in January 2015. She was elected to a four-year term that November.
Carini will challenge Democratic candidate Lora Webster, a Paralympic volleyball player, stay-at-home mother and a childhood cancer survivor.
At the time, Webster was surprised by the announcement, but remained humbled by the news, saying that she would continue to run a grassroots campaign by knocking on doors and speaking with residents, as if there were still an opponent in play.
“I’m still going to run the race like I am behind, and use that as motivation,” Webster said. “As far as I’m concerned, I still have to prove myself to a ton of people.”
"I am running against the pay-to-play culture of corruption that has permeated Hempstead Town government for far too long," she added in a statement on Sept. 25, pointing to more than $1,600 in donations made by Carini to Republican candidates since May. "I am proud to stand alongside Supervisor Gillen in her fight to clean up Town Hall."
Carini has consulted with Town Receiver of Taxes Don Clavin, who is challenging Supervisor Laura Gillen, to work on a taxpayer accountability plan. This would include “slashing patronage by $1 million on day one,” according to the release. Carini also supports the Republican majority’s 2019 budget, which received unanimous support aside from Gillen.
“The Carini Plan calls for strict fiscal accountability,” Carini said. “At the same time, we need to invest in our roadway network, which is in need of serious attention. I am working with Don Clavin to rebuild our infrastructure.”
“Putting taxpayers first is not just a campaign slogan for me,” he added. “It is my commitment to the residents of the 5th Councilmanic district.”
In Seaford, Carini is raising two children along with his wife, Danielle.
This story will be updated.
— Alyssa Seidman contributed to this story.