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Feb 26, 2013 12:31 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

East Hampton Democrats Hold First Screenings

Feb 26, 2013 5:18 PM

East Hampton Town Democrats this week were largely tight-lipped about who they interviewed to run for office at the party’s first screening for Election 2013 candidates on Sunday, but a crop of contenders seeking cross endorsements by both Republicans and Democrats appears to be shaping up.

Four people were interviewed by the party’s screening committee for town justice and town clerk, according to Rona Klopman, the committee’s second vice chairwoman. One of those candidates was Deputy Town Clerk Carole Brennan, who screened for the position of town clerk. Ms. Brennan also screened with the Republicans for the position, which is currently held by Fred Overton, who has screened with the Republicans for one of two open Town Board seats.

The Democrats have also scheduled a screening with Republican East Hampton Town Councilman Dominick Stanzione, according to Betty Mazur, the committee’s first vice chairwoman. Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman, an Independence Party member and former Republican, who has expressed strong interest in running for town supervisor, a position he once held, is also going to screen with the Democrats. Both Mr. Stanzione and Mr. Schneiderman have screened with the Republicans as well.

Meanwhile, the East Hampton Town Republican Committee cast a preliminary vote earlier this month to select Mr. Schneiderman as the party’s candidate for supervisor. The party had been expected to make the formal announcement on Wednesday, February 27. But on Monday, Mr. Schneiderman said he didn’t 
even know if he would be ready to make a decision by then—noting only that he’s “definitely leaning in the direction 
of running for supervisor.” The date of the Republicans’ formal announcement has been pushed to Wednesday, March 6, when the party holds a scallop dinner fundraiser at 
the Highway Diner & Bar in Wainscott, said Kurt Kappel, the chairman of the party. Tickets cost $50, and the event runs from 6 to 8 p.m.

Supervisor Bill Wilkinson, who said he would make a decision on whether to run for another two-year term by the end of February or early March, has refused to screen with the Republicans. He has said his credentials should be obvious 
after being elected to serve two terms in office. He didn’t return a call seeking comment on Monday evening.

Mr. Kappel has countered by saying everyone, including incumbents, need to screen with the committee.

The Democrats will screen for candidates on Sundays until they fill all seats, both Ms. Klopman and Ms. Mazur said. East Hampton Village Administrator Larry Cantwell and former supervisor candidate Zachary Cohen, both Democrats interested in running for supervisor, are scheduled to screen with the committee in coming weeks. Ms. Mazur said there are screenings scheduled for the two open Town Board seats as well, although she wouldn’t say who was screening.

The Democrats will remain mum on who screens for positions, party officials said.

“Democrats are very quiet,” Ms. Klopman said. “I know the world and East Hampton are dying to know who. We’re very quiet because we like to give everybody an opportunity. We like to make sure that anybody who wants to screen can screen with us. If you don’t hear a name that doesn’t mean they’re not scheduled. Its just that we keep a very low profile.”

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Local democratic and republican party bosses are interested NOT in a person's politics, but in scoring a win. Period. Interviewing Republicans to run on the Democratic ticket? What the __________! Who benefits from cross-endorsements? Not the voters because they have no idea where the candidates' loyalty lies until AFTER they are elected. Is this a form of bi-partisanship? No. We have two parties in this country and they have opposite views on what is important. As a democrat, I want to ...more
By peoplefirst (787), Southampton on Feb 26, 13 3:38 PM
As best I can recall, peoplefirst, you and I agree on most things, and I'm with you on this one, too, but only at the level of state and national elections.

Locally, I think it's a little different. In town and county government, the concern is with practical, everyday things like road maintenance and police protection. In a way, we're lucky because we're not lumbered with the polarizing ideological issues that divide the two major parties at higher levels. We can actually get together ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1966), Quiogue on Feb 26, 13 4:30 PM
1 member liked this comment
The two party system stinks. It's divisive and counter productive. In a perfect world it would abolished. I think we often see the best and most productive GVT at the local level. Elected officials are held accountable and must work with in a budget
By razza5350 (1911), East Hampton on Feb 27, 13 6:40 AM
We do normally agree, but not on this. When you declare a party affiliation, you are declaring an allegiance to that party's principles and platform. A candidates political affiliation is really the only comparative we have. If you are a pro-development, anti-tax, limited government republican that philosophy of governing comes to play in every decision you make, whether it is on a national issue like taxes or a local issue like whether or not to approve a change of zoning.

The Southampton ...more
By peoplefirst (787), Southampton on Feb 27, 13 10:54 AM
Does it always have to be so black and white. Most people dont believe with 100% of their respective parties platform? When dealing with local politics I like to think that most people are voting based on factors other than parties principles and platform. As a fiscal conservative and registered republican I have crossed the aisle many times in local politics and even (although rarely) on higher levels.
By razza5350 (1911), East Hampton on Feb 27, 13 12:18 PM
I'll meet you halfway, peoplefirst, and say it's a mix in local politics. You're right to say that an individual must have core beliefs and that a party's platform is a good working expression of those beliefs. Still, I don't see those core beliefs having as much direct application to quotidian town affairs as you do.

For example, there's no Democratic or Republican way to fix the streets, you just do it, and that's true of most municipal functions. There is, of course, a difference ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1966), Quiogue on Feb 27, 13 4:34 PM
psssst, thats just TB's way of saying "we're endorsing an Independent for so and in exchange for Mr. McKay's blessing of so and so."
He just likes to twist it around a bit,to make him look like the good guy.
By But I'm a blank! (1283), Hampton Bays on Feb 26, 13 4:43 PM
It must not be easy walking around with all that cynicism. I feel for you, But.

Fact is, I am the good guy, or at least I try like hell to be. And remember, it's not entirely altruistic. I'm not kidding when I talk about the corpses of all those pols who ignored the rules -- it caught up with them.
By Turkey Bridge (1966), Quiogue on Feb 26, 13 5:55 PM
I am a blank too and I would like a choice - not Schneiderman and/or Stanzione on both Republican and Democratic lines. I don't think the Democratic committee would be so foolish. Town Clerk, trustees, highway another story.
By disappointed (96), wainscott on Feb 26, 13 4:54 PM
Is Jay running or not? I thought he already accepted the Republican nomination? Now it seems like he is hedging and it would be a great embarrasment to the Republican leadership to have a fundraiser to roll out your ticket with no supervisor candidate. Am I crazy or is Schneiderman now saying what Wilkinson has said all along, namely that February, and even early March, is too soon to make a decision? "Not ready to make a decision" says Jay? He already screened, doesn't that mean you want to ...more
By Yesouthh (21), water mill on Feb 26, 13 9:45 PM