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Mar 5, 2013 3:30 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

East Hampton Republicans Name Town Board Candidates

Mar 5, 2013 3:55 PM

East Hampton Town Republicans have chosen incumbent Councilman Dominick Stanzione and Town Clerk Fred Overton to run for Town Board, according to Kurt Kappel, the chairman of the Republican Committee. The two men screened for the seats last month and were endorsed by the committee last week.

The two join Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman, who screened for his old position of town supervisor and Highway Superintendent Steve Lynch, who screened for his current position. Both were already picked to run by the committee in an earlier vote, but Mr. Schneiderman continues to say he hasn’t made up his mind on whether he plans to accept the party’s nomination.

Meanwhile, Republican Supervisor Bill Wilkinson acknowledged this week that he had decided some time ago he would not seek another term, but he expressed disappointment in the Republican Party for choosing a candidate for his position without first getting his answer.

“I knew I wasn’t going to run and I’m not going to run,” Mr. Wilkinson said. “It’s interesting to see the dynamic or what I consider the dysfunction of the Republican Party, that’s all. The fact that without confirming my answer, the fact that they would go outside the party to another party member just brings up all sorts of interesting background scenarios that one can put together. I’m wondering why would you do that? Why would you, as Kurt Kappel said, go outside and request to have lunch with [Mr. Schneiderman] and send me and every other elected official a simple notice of screening, saying a screening was taking place?”

Republicans also voted on candidates for other East Hampton Town races. They chose Deputy Town Clerk Carole Brennan to run for town clerk, former town attorney Carl Irace for town justice and current East Hampton Town Trustee Joe Bloecker for town assessor.

Republicans still have to choose nine candidates to run for East Hampton Town Trustees, Mr. Kappel said. So far, the committee has already agreed to endorse five incumbents, leaving four slots to fill. Those five are Timothy Bock, Sean McCaffrey, Stephanie Forsberg, Diane McNally and Nat Miller. The committee will choose its remaining candidates from a pool of six who screened with the party, Mr. Kappel said.

The committee will vote on the remaining Trustee candidates on March 13, and announce its full slate then, Mr. Kappel added.

Several candidates the committee has chosen to run on the Republican ticket are seeking cross endorsements with the East Hampton Town Democratic Committee. They include Mr. Schneiderman, an Independence Party member, Mr. Stanzione, a Republican who is scheduled to screen with the Democrats and Ms. Brennan, who is also scheduled to screen.

Mr. Schneiderman is the only candidate who screened with the Republicans for town supervisor after Mr. Wilkinson refused to do so, stating at the time that his credentials should have been apparent to the committee.

Mr. Schneiderman, a former East Hampton supervisor, said he hasn’t yet made up his mind on whether he will run for his old post. He said “multiple factors” are playing into his decision. Those include his family and a potential future in Suffolk County government, should he choose to run and win what would be his final two-year term because of term limits. If elected, he said he could see a situation where he’d be offered a job in Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone’s administration after his final term in office ends.

“Bellone has made it clear he enjoys working with me,” Mr. Schneiderman said. “I have to believe that I would be highly considered for a position somewhere in his administration.”

Mr. Schneiderman is scheduled to screen with the Democrats on Sunday, and said he’s not likely to announce whether he’ll run for supervisor before then. Former supervisor candidate Zachary Cohen and East Hampton Village Administrator Larry Cantwell are also scheduled to screen for supervisor with the Democrats.

Mr. Schneiderman is in the process of conducting a poll to gauge whether the community would support his run for supervisor.

Asked what the Republican Party would do if Mr. Schneiderman declined to run for town supervisor, Mr. Kappel said, “I’m not going to go there.” He added that he’s had conversations with Mr. Schneiderman almost every day on the subject, and that Mr. Schneiderman indicated he was “very appreciative” of the nomination.

“Right now it looks like all systems go,” Mr. Kappel said.

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