Clarke said that fighting corruption and making town government more efficient and professional are priorities. He’s a Democrat, but he said that by running on a third-party line, he isn’t beholden to Democratic leaders and would be free to hire employees for their expertise, not their party ties. “Until you divorce yourself from being controlled by the party heads, you’re not going to be able to do anything about nepotism, you’re not going to be able to do anything about cronyism, or pay-to-play politics,” he said. Clarke said he would comb the town budget to look for inefficiencies, duplicative services and patronage jobs, and seek more federal and state grants, along with other new revenue sources. “I don’t think there’s an income problem,” he said of the town’s financial woes. “We get enough money in taxes.” Clarke said he opposes Supervisor Joseph Saladino’s plan for an inspector general, calling it a “useless position” with duties that could be performed by current employees.
Clarke, 40, is running on the Progressive line. He lives in Jericho and has a law practice in Farmingdale with running mate Blaire Fellows. Clarke unsuccessfully ran in the 3rd Congressional District Democratic primary in 2016 and was the Democratic candidate in the 17th District State Assembly race in 2014. He has a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and classics from Hunter College and a law degree from Touro Law Center. Clarke grew up in Freeport. He is not married.