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Sep 12, 2017 10:18 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Kathee Burke-Gonzalez, Jeff Bragman Grab Democratic Ticket In East Hampton Primary Vote

Sep 13, 2017 8:09 AM

East Hampton Town Councilwoman Kathee Burke-Gonzalez cruised to an easy win of one of the Democratic Party's slots on the November Town Board election, with fellow party nominee Jeffrey Bragman appearing to likely be the other nominee for the two council seats on the ballot over challenger Zachary Cohen.

Ms. Burke-Gonzalez received by far the most votes in the primary among voters who cast ballots on Tuesday, as had been expected, with 1,194. Mr. Bragman was second with 810 and Mr. Cohen third with 662.

There are more than 350 absentee ballots outstanding but it is highly unlikely Mr. Cohen could expect to make up the difference with Mr. Bragman once they are tallied later this month.

According to the Suffolk County Board of Elections, there were 354 Democratic absentee ballots requested and sent to voters. Just 162 had been received back at the Board of Elections as of Monday. But for ballots to be counted they only had to be postmarked by midnight Monday, September 11, and received by the Board of Elections by September 19. The ballots will not be opened to be counted until September 25.

Ms. Burke-Gonzalez, who is seeking reelection to a second term, and Mr. Bragman will now face Republican nominees Jerry Larsen and Paul Giardina for the two council seats on the ballot. Democratic Councilman Peter Van Scoyoc is running for supervisor against Republican nominee Manny Vilar.

Turnout among Democrats for the primary was robust. More than 1,200 Democrats cast ballots on Tuesday, with the potential for another 350 or more though absentees. By comparison, just 1,059 East Hampton Democrats cast ballots in the congressional primary race between David Calone and Anna Throne-Holst in June 2016.

In the night's other race, Independence Party voters also cast ballots on Tuesday for Town Trustees.

Julie Evans, an Independence Party memeber endorsed by the Republicans, in the Trustees race, was successful in wresting away one of the party's nominations from Democrat Rona Klopman. Ms. Klopman had been a late addition to the Democratic slate when incumbent Trustee Tyler Armstrong announced that he would not seek reelection, but she still received the endorsement of the Independence Party committee. Ms. Evans, who was nominated by the Republicans, will now have her name on both the GOP and Independence lines, along with Diane McNally, Susan Vorpahl, Lyndsey Hayes and Joseph Bloecker and Gary Cobb, and Democrats Bill Taylor, Rick Drew,and John Aldred.

Though the ballots Independence Party voters received showed a race between Ms. Burke-Gonzalez, Mr. Bragman and Independence Party member Jerry Larsen, the ballots were printed before Mr. Larsen's petitions to force the primary were ruled invalid after a challenge by the Democrats, so no votes cast in the race were to be counted.

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Just can't get it right can ya ? Gary Cobb is an Independent.
By cobb (9), Flanders on Sep 13, 17 4:20 AM
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