The Southampton Town Democratic Party reshuffled its Town Trustees slate this week, replacing Trustee Fred Havemeyer with a political newcomer, Bill Brauninger, on the ballot for the fall election.
Mr. Havemeyer announced last week that he was withdrawing from the race and will leave the board in December after 11 years.
Mr. Brauninger, who lives in North Haven Village and grows oysters in cages in Peconic Bay, was added to the Democratic ticket as a fill-in candidate just before the July 18 filing deadline. It is his first run for town office, though he has served on the North Haven Village Planning Board and on an advisory committee that oversaw Sag Harbor Village’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Program.
A man who has worn many hats in both business and public life, Mr. Brauninger said his decision to run for elected office was not a difficult one.
“I don’t like being told that I can’t go on beaches,” Mr. Brauninger said this week, relating a recent conversation with a local official regarding access to a private beach. “It’s done for a love of the bays. I’m passionate about it.”
“We’re very pleased he accepted the offer to run,” Southampton Town Democratic Party Chairman Gordon Herr said on Monday. “He’s very well qualified, and he’s a lifelong environmentalist.”
Mr. Brauninger will have two lines on the November ballot, as he has been cross-endorsed by the Working Families Party.
On the other side of the ballot, Town Trustee Ed Warner earned another party line for his reelection bid just before the ballots were finalized last week. Mr. Warner, a Republican, submitted a petition signed by Independence Party members insisting that he be given party’s fifth endorsement for Town Trustee. The petition was approved by Frank MacKay, chairman of both the New York State and Suffolk County Independence parties.
Mr. Warner had initially been passed over by the party when it handed out its nominations to four other Town Trustee candidates. Mr. Havemeyer also was denied an Independence nomination.
The Southampton Town Independence Party leader, State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr., said the four bids had been given to those for whom there was consensus support among the party’s local elected officials. In addition to Mr. Thiele, that group included Town Trustee Bill Pell, Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst and Town Highway Superintendent Alex Gregor.
Mr. Warner and Mr. Havemeyer did not have unanimous support, Mr. Thiele said at the time, though this week he welcomed Mr. Warner’s inclusion on the party line.
“A number of people spoke in favor of Eddie Warner, and he carried his own petition,” Mr. Thiele said. “I’m glad he did, and I think he deserves to be on the ticket.”
Mr. Warner will now have three lines on the ballot this fall: Republican, Independence and Conservative.