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Apr 7, 2017 3:13 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

GOP Endorses Its East Hampton Town Board Candidates

Apr 20, 2017 3:23 PM

The East Hampton Town Republican Party on Friday announced that it has officially endorsed its slate of three candidates for the Town Board elections this fall.

As had been expected for several weeks, since the party only screened one person for each open seat, the party has nominated Manny Vilar to be its candidate for supervisor, as it seeks to take back the seat after Democratic Supervisor Larry Cantwell announced earlier this year that he would not seek reelection to a third term in office. Mr. Vilar is a New York State Parks Police officer and the president of the state policemen’s union.

The party’s two candidates for the Town Board seats on the ballot will be Jerry Larsen, the former chief of the East Hampton Village Police Department, and Paul Giardina, a retired engineer and former regional director of the federal Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA.

The Republican Party’s lone representative on the Town Board, Councilman Fred Overton, has announced that he will not seek reelection this year after 30 years in elected office. Mr. Overton switched his registration to the Independence Party last fall, before he decided not to seek reelection.

The party is still seeking candidates for its slate of Town Trustees and will not hold its actual nominating convention for a few more weeks.

The Democratic Party, meanwhile, is still several weeks away from formalizing its ticket for the November ballot. Jeanne Frankl, the party’s co-chairwoman, said it is still screening several candidates, including for Town Board and supervisor, as well as Trustees and highway superintendent.

“I know there is a lot of eagerness for an outcome but it’s important to us to give everyone a thorough look,” Ms. Frankl said, “and to give our screening committee an opportunity to consider everyone, since they are all very serious candidates.”

With Mr. Cantwell’s departure, Councilwoman Kathee Burke-Gonzalez is the lone Democratic incumbent on the board seeking reelection. Councilman Peter Van Scoyoc, who is in the middle of his current elected term, has said he is asking to be the party’s nominee to replace Mr. Cantwell. But at least two other people, Frank Dalene and Zach Cohen, have also screened for the supervisor’s nomination.

Ms. Frankl said the party likely won’t finish screening until nearly the end of this month and hopes to hold its nominating convention in early to mid May.

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