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Mar 18, 2013 9:05 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Schneiderman Will Not Run For East Hampton Town Supervisor

Mar 19, 2013 4:09 PM

After months of deliberation, Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman announced on Monday he would turn down the nomination of the Republican Party and not run for East Hampton Town supervisor this year.

The move leaves the East Hampton Town Republican Committee without a candidate for supervisor, since Mr. Schneiderman, who was nominated last month, was the only person to screen for the position. But the party plans to reopen the screening process, and Town Clerk Fred Overton, nominated to run for Town Board, said he’s contemplating stepping up to run for supervisor.

Mr. Schneiderman, an Independence Party member, screened for his former post as supervisor with both the local Republican and Democratic parties, and commissioned a poll to gauge his chances at victory against potential Democratic opponents such as East Hampton Village Administrator Larry Cantwell and former supervisor candidate Zachary Cohen. But the five-term Suffolk County legislator never made an official decision on whether he would run until Monday morning. Instead, he plans to seek a final two-year term on the County Legislature.

“I am grateful for the overwhelming support and encouragement I have received as I have weighed how best to serve our community,” Mr. Schneiderman said in a prepared statement. “After great thought and deliberation, I have chosen to seek reelection to the Suffolk County Legislature.

“East Hampton is a special place, and the idea of bringing our town together as supervisor is very appealing to me,” he continued. “However, there is still more work I feel I need to do in the legislature.”

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone also supports Mr. Schneiderman’s stay at the county.

“Jay is a strong voice and a relentless advocate for the East End,” Mr. Bellone said. “As we work to put our finances in order, deliver services more efficiently and rebuild after Sandy, I need Jay Schneiderman’s voice in the legislature.”

Mr. Schneiderman ended the statement by saying that he wouldn’t rule out the possibility of a future run for supervisor.

It’s only March, but already, this year’s race for East Hampton Town Board has seen more than its share of twists and turns. Supervisor Bill Wilkinson and Councilwoman Theresa Quigley, both Republicans, announced they won’t seek reelection, leaving the board’s Republican majority hanging in the balance. Republican Councilman Dominick Stanzione has already been endorsed by Republicans to run again.

The Republican Party chose Mr. Schneiderman for supervisor, surprising many by not putting their support behind Mr. Wilkinson, who refused to screen with the party. At the time, Mr. Wilkinson, who would have been seeking his third two-year term, said he should not have to screen in order to earn the GOP’s endorsement.

“I think Jay wanted a coronation and he didn’t get it,” Mr. Wilkinson said this week.

The incumbent supervisor has made no secret of his disappointment in the East Hampton Town Republican Committee. He and Ms. Quigley said this week they weren’t surprised by Mr. Schneiderman’s decision not to run.

“I said a while back that I thought the Republican Party was dysfunctional,” Mr. Wilkinson said. “This is another indication of it. As I said, I feel sorry for the Republicans in the Town of East Hampton, that this is the type of leadership, that this is the type of strategic and tactical thinking that’s going on in Republican headquarters, and it’s embarrassing. “

It’s unclear who the Republican Party will tap to run for supervisor, but Town Republican Committee Chairman Kurt Kappel said he isn’t worried because the party doesn’t need to have a candidate in place until June at the latest. Petitions are due to the Suffolk County Board of Elections in July, he said.

“We’re not in a panic mode,” Mr. Kappel said. “We still have time.”

Mr. Kappel said Mr. Schneiderman’s decision wasn’t a surprise to him, since the two had been communicating regularly. “I’m a little disappointed,” Mr. Kappel said. “He let us know now and not in a month from now, so that was good.”

It’s now back to the drawing board for Republicans. Mr. Kappel said he will be making phone calls to people who were interested in running for supervisor before Mr. Schneiderman publicized his interest.

Republicans may not have to look further than their current ticket. Mr. Overton said he’s giving the idea “very serious thought” after Mr. Kappel reached out to him on Monday morning. Mr. Overton has been in town government for 26 years, and has gotten to know “all sides of every issue.”

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Really, The best qualified candidates are Supervisor Wilkenson and Aminstrator Cantwell. They both are proven, effective executives.

Dave Wagner, Pres. CBPOA
By DavidEH (5), East Hampton on Mar 18, 13 11:31 AM
His decision could affect the Southampton Town Board race indirectly, as Nuzzi and Malone may have been eying runs for the county position IMO.
By PBR (4952), Southampton on Mar 18, 13 12:40 PM
Right! Nuzzi is term limited, and Malone is likely limited by his record.

Not let's see if the County GOP can find someone to primary Schneiderman and send him off to OTB.

O, wait, that's not much of an option any longer, is it?
By Frank Wheeler (1823), Northampton on Mar 18, 13 3:20 PM
Schneiderman is Indeoendence Party. A primary has to come from someone within the party.
By But I'm a blank! (1283), Hampton Bays on Mar 18, 13 4:13 PM
"Indeoendence Party"? Is this a new party?
By Geppetto (59), Southampton on Mar 18, 13 11:34 PM
Excellent editing! You found a typo.
By But I'm a blank! (1283), Hampton Bays on Mar 19, 13 12:36 PM
Next in line for the EH Republicans: Ben Dover.
By we could run this town! (129), the oceanfront trailer park on Mar 19, 13 3:12 AM
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