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Feb 20, 2019 9:31 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

UPDATE: Southampton Town GOP Chooses Candidates For All Town Board Positions Except For Supervisor

The Southampton Republican Party is expected to reveal whether Town Board member Christine Scalera will run for the Supervisor position in November. GREG WEHNER
Feb 21, 2019 2:20 PM

UPDATE: Thursday, 2:05 p.m.

On Wednesday, the Southampton Town Republican Committee made many of its picks to run for town positions, with the exception of the supervisor slot.

The recent announcement from Town Board member Christine Scalera that she would not be seeking the supervisor’s position, forced committee members to continue their search for a solid candidate to go up against Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman.

Theresa Kiernan, the town tax receiver and GOP vice chairwoman, said on Thursday that the committee chose Rick Martel of Hampton Bays, and James Ding of Southampton to run for the two open Town Board seats. Both candidates are new to the political arena, and are making their first run.

Republicans also tapped Town Trustee incumbents Ed Warner Jr., Scott Horowitz and Bruce Stafford to run for re-election, alongside Don Law, who ran for Trustee in 2015 and 2017, and Thea Dombrowski-Fry, who ran for Town Board in 2017.

Gordon Herr, the Southampton Town Democratic Committee chairman, said on Wednesday that his party tapped Andrew Brosnan of Hampton Bays to also run for Trustee.

The Republican Committee also tapped Ms. Kiernan and Town Justice Gary Weber to seek reelection to their posts.

No determination has been made by the committee regarding whether former Town Supervisor Linda Kabot would be put up for the county legislator race. While Ms. Kabot screened for the position with town GOP members, Ms. Kiernan said the committee does not make the ultimate decision for county races, but the Suffolk County Republican Committee does.

ORIGINAL STORY:

The field for the Southampton Town election in November has begun to take shape, as the Town Democratic Committee made its picks to run for town positions, and the Republican Party remained poised to do the same this week.

Numerous positions are up for election, including the town supervisor slot. Current Democratic Supervisor Jay Schneiderman is seeking a third two-year term.

His opponent has not yet emerged, and Republicans have so far been mum on who their pick might be. The GOP committee was slated to hold its nominating convention Wednesday night.

Town Board member Christine Scalera—a Republican who will have served 8 years on the board at the end of the year and cannot seek re-election due to term limits—was long thought to be the front runner, but confirmed on Wednesday morning that she will not make a run for the top spot.

She said it was a difficult decision to make, and while she is grateful for the support she has received over the years, she wants to focus on her family.

“...The demands of a campaign and the physical and mental commitment required, make running for supervisor right now, not in the best interest of my family, and that has to come first,” she said in a text message. “I remain grateful, humbled and proud to serve our community.”

There was speculation that Mr. Schneiderman would offer the Community Preservation Fund manager position—previously held by Mary Wilson for 17 years until she retired last month—to Ms. Scalera in an effort to keep her from running for supervisor, but those rumors were put to bed this week.

Ms. Scalera said she was not offered the position because as a board member, she was part of the process of interviewing candidates for the position.

In other races, former Southampton Town Supervisor Linda Kabot also confirmed this week that she screened with the Republican Committee to run against Suffolk County Legislator Bridget Fleming this fall. Ms. Kabot said it was too early to say whether she would get the nod.

Two Town Board seats are up for grabs this November: Ms. Scalera’s and John Bouvier’s seat. Mr. Bouvier is seeking re-election to a second four-year term.

Along with Mr. Bouvier, the Democratic Party plans to put Craig Catalanotto, 50, of Speonk on the ballot in an effort to obtain Ms. Scalera’s spot.

In the Town Trustee race, all five seats are up for re-election, and all five Trustees—Republicans Scott Horowitz, Ed Warner Jr. and Bruce Stafford and Independents Bill Pell and Ann Welker, both cross-endorsed by the Democratic Party—hope to retain their spots. So far, the Democrats have nominated Eileen Duffy, 53, of Quogue and David Mayer, 39, of Hampton Bays to run for two of the seats held by Republicans. The party is still looking for a third candidate.

Town Justice Gary Weber’s first, four-year term is also set to expire and he hopes to be re-elected this fall, as does Tax Receiver Theresa Kiernan, who wants to be reelected to a fourth four-year term. Both are Republicans.

Democrat Brette Haefeli, 46, of Westhampton Beach has been tapped by the Democratic Party to run against Mr. Weber and Democratic Committee Chairman Gordon Herr said he plans to run against Ms. Kiernan.

Many of the new candidates running for the Democratic Party are making their first attempts to get into politics.

Most notable is Mr. Catalanotto, who is seeking to fill the only Republican Party seat on the Town Board.

“I’m thrilled,” Mr. Catalanotto said of being nominated. “I’m at that stage and I’m looking forward to going out and talking to people.”

He said he had been thinking about running for Town Board for a year or so, and he was approached by the party to run for Ms. Scalera’s seat.

Mr. Catalanotto said he has worked closely with Mr. Bouvier on projects like getting a community center built in Westhampton, and has learned a lot from him.

“The way John responds, inspired me to run,” Mr. Catalanotto said of Mr. Bouvier, in terms of how he addresses land use disputes and other issues in western portions of Southampton Town.

Mr. Catalanotto said hearings surrounding the Speonk Commons—a development on North Phillips Avenue that was originally proposed to have 50 affordable apartments that was chopped down to 38—really thrust him into the political arena.

During those hearings, many people voiced their frustrations on their own feelings, Mr. Catalanotto said, where he based his arguments about the development on facts. And that is how he wants to approach issues throughout the town, if elected.

Mr. Catalanotto is the owner of Spire Awards and Gifts, Inc., and serves as the Citizen Advisory Committee West’s co-chairman. He is also a member of the Community Preservation Fund Advisory Committee and the Speonk-Remsenburg Civic Association.

“He really wants to make a difference in the town,” Mr. Herr said last week. “I think he can bring people to the campaign who might not normally vote Democratic. I think he’ll be able to unite people at a time when we probably need to be united.”

Mr. Herr said the party nominated both Ms. Welker and Mr. Pell to seek re-election to their seats, which are for two-year terms.

Ms. Welker will seek her second term and Mr. Pell will run for his sixth term.

Along with Mr. Pell and Ms. Welker, the party nominated Mr. Mayer and Ms. Duffy to run for Town Trustee. Mr. Herr said a fifth candidate will also be chosen to run on the Democratic Party ticket, though has not been picked yet.

Calls to Ms. Duffy were not immediately returned.

Mr. Mayer worked in the prosthetic business for years, designing prosthetic limbs. His career took him to Boca Raton, Florida and brought him back to New York, where he would commute to Brooklyn and Queens from Hampton Bays.

In 2009, Mr. Mayer purchased a home in Hampton Bays, and he eventually sold his portion of the prosthetic business. He then started taking classes at Suffolk County Community College, and then got accepted to Stony Brook University. It was there that he studied political science and journalism. He graduated in 2018.

While in school, Mr. Mayer kicked off his political career, helping out with Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in 2017, and more recently, Perry Gershon’s race against U.S. Representative Lee Zeldin in 2018.

Now, Mr. Mayer said he is ready to take part in a race of his own, for Town Trustee.

“I’m very passionate about the environment,” he said, explaining he is a water enthusiast who has seen water quality degrade over the years, since he was a young boy spending time on his father’s boat. These days, Mr. Mayer said, he easily spends eight hours per day on the water between April and October.

And although Mr. Mayer does not drive on the beach, he believes beach access should be protected for the freeholders.

“He’s very smart and has done a lot of research,” Mr. Herr said of Mr. Mayer. “He’s a quick learner and he’s dedicated.”

As for Ms. Duffy, Mr. Herr said she is a great candidate for Trustee because of her progressive thinking.

The Democratic Party also tapped Ms. Haefeli to run for Southampton Town Justice.

Ms. Haefeli’s work as an attorney and in the Suffolk County Surrogate Court System as a court attorney referee, makes her a great fit as a candidate for town justice, according to Mr. Herr.

Mr. Herr said it has been a few years since the Democratic Party has put a candidate up for the tax receiver spot, so it figured it was time to do so. He added that he has a bachelor’s degree in engineering and an MBA, and has also operated multiple businesses—making him qualified to run for tax receiver.

“We have a very great slate,” Mr. Herr said of the tapped candidates. “I’m really excited about all of the new people.”

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Gordon Herr is running against Terri? Ha.
By Draggerman (903), Southampton on Feb 21, 19 7:10 AM
1 member liked this comment
Shocking that the "Receiver of Taxes" position even exists. Other than playing golf pretty much every day the weather is above freezing I'm really not sure what Ms. Kiernan does. I guess tax bills need to be stuffed and stamped and envelopes opened 2X per year, but couldn't this be absorbed by secretarial staff?
By GlassHouses (64), anywhere on Feb 22, 19 2:25 PM
THE LATE BOO HARRIS FOR TOWN SUPERVISOR !!!!!!!!!!!
By themarlinspike (346), southampton on Feb 23, 19 10:47 AM
That is a good suggestion, an account clerk should be absorbed into either the Assessors Office or the Comptrollers office to handle the submitted taxes. This would save on tax dollars.
By Resident tax (164), Hampton bays ny on Feb 25, 19 1:50 PM
Bouvier is probably the most ignorant town board member I have ever met. Bouvier is also the same guy that says he swears by surveys and says they are great but meanwhile goes against them in the Hills Project. Plenty of emails to Mr. Bouvier with nothing back and also I have talked to employees within the town at town hall and they say Bouvier and Schneiderman walk around like they own the TOS. People please wake up and make the right decisions this up coming election. If you like increased taxes, ...more
By watchoutnow968 (49), Southampton on Feb 21, 19 8:07 AM
1 member liked this comment
I agree with everything you say about Bouvier & Schneiderman. On the subject of Alex Gregor you really need to speak to long time Highway Dept. employees & older local residents for their review of him : he's uneducated, threatening, volatile, unreasonable, untruthful & willing to skirt the legal law at the local's expense. There are plenty of people a lot better than Alex Gregor but none much worse.
Feb 21, 19 9:14 AM appended by themarlinspike
MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN - DUMP GREGOR !!!!!!
By themarlinspike (346), southampton on Feb 21, 19 9:14 AM
John Bouvier is wonderful! He has a personal connection to local ecosystems and is not beholden to developers. Hip, hip, hooray for John Bouvier : )
By Aeshtron (318), Southampton on Feb 21, 19 10:01 AM
2 members liked this comment
Hip hip hooray?. Lmfao. The 1920’s are over lady. 23-skidoo!,
By CaptainSig (708), Dutch Harbor on Feb 22, 19 12:17 PM
Bouvier wonderful? About as wonderful as AOC.
By Draggerman (903), Southampton on Feb 21, 19 11:26 AM
Hope he wins BIG, like AOC.
By SpeedRacer (143), Southampton on Feb 21, 19 3:17 PM
Check out the backgrounds and track records of the several Democratic candidates as against the backgrounds and track records of the folks on the Republican ticket -- a ticket without a head, as long as the GOP has no supervisor candidate. The comparison is really striking, and no prizes for guessing which slate shines brighter.

As just one example, the Dems were still missing one trustee candidate when the original version of this article was posted. By the time of this afternoon's update, ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1943), Quiogue on Feb 21, 19 3:27 PM
Party Uber Alles , right TB?
By bigfresh (4364), north sea on Feb 21, 19 4:18 PM
2 members liked this comment
What an appropriate tune bigfresh, that you should suggest. I bet you and all the Neo-Nazis / Teabagers, like Lee Zeldin, play it before all your meetings.
By SpeedRacer (143), Southampton on Feb 21, 19 5:05 PM
1 member liked this comment
Little bit of pent up hostility there Speed
By bigfresh (4364), north sea on Feb 21, 19 6:59 PM
1 member liked this comment
I guess it will be an all Democratic Town Board...
By V.Tomanoku (743), southampton on Feb 21, 19 5:32 PM
Turkey Bridge, You seem to have a very short memory.
You say, "Captain Andrew Brosnan, may be the most qualified person ever to seek a Trustee position". Really? Remember outstanding Trustees Fred Havemeyer and Eric Schultz? Two men who brought integrity and dignity to the Trustees.
Currently, this Board has spiraled to a very low level ... remember Rose Hill? Who knows what else?
Hopefully Brosnan will set the Trustees back on the right track.
By HamptonClassic (94), Southampton on Feb 21, 19 5:35 PM
Jay showed his true colors and loyalty to the Town. He would ditch his best friend if he has one in a second to get to the head of the line at the celebrity party. Do we really want someone like that? John and Julie are like the Malone and Pope of yesteryear.
By lirider (270), Hampton Bays on Feb 21, 19 10:52 PM
1 member liked this comment
We, here on the East End are witnessing, first hand, the results of the trump effect. First, in East Hampton, the Republican Party had to advertise for anyone, of any political party, to screen for a position on their ticket, for the November election.
Now it is the turn of the Southampton Republican / Teabag Party to reap what they have sewn, as few really qualified people are willing to run for elected office on their ticket. When the dust finally settles on the Rose Hill Mob (Republican ...more
By SpeedRacer (143), Southampton on Feb 22, 19 11:58 AM
1 member liked this comment
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By watchoutnow968 (49), Southampton on Feb 22, 19 11:46 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By watchoutnow968 (49), Southampton on Feb 22, 19 11:46 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By watchoutnow968 (49), Southampton on Feb 22, 19 11:47 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By watchoutnow968 (49), Southampton on Feb 22, 19 11:48 PM
How many half garbage projects are going on in the town? Bought my house ten years ago? Guess what? My taxes haven’t stopped increasing. Thanks Jay the dems and all the illegals. You guys really know how to screw the system!! Bouvier is the biggest clown ever
By watchoutnow968 (49), Southampton on Feb 22, 19 11:51 PM
But Jay claims he hasn’t raised taxes ever... Guess reassessment doesn’t count. Thank god he isn’t comptroller of Suffolk County.
By Draggerman (903), Southampton on Feb 23, 19 8:28 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By watchoutnow968 (49), Southampton on Feb 22, 19 11:58 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By watchoutnow968 (49), Southampton on Feb 23, 19 12:11 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By watchoutnow968 (49), Southampton on Feb 23, 19 12:12 AM
Bruce Stafford has to go. From his multiple failed openings of the Mecox cut due to his inability to grasp the fundamentals of wind and tide to his facilitating the Rose Hill scam ,his tenure has been farcical at best. having a politically connected relative does not make him a worthy candidate
By bigfresh (4364), north sea on Feb 24, 19 11:55 AM
2 members liked this comment
Supervisor Schneiderman is a weasel. Fred Havemeyer, please run for Supervisor on the Republican line and challenge Supervisor Schneiderman in a Democratic primary -- you have time to get 2,000 signatures so that even the corrupt election board can't deny your campaign this time around.
By dfree (743), hampton bays on Feb 25, 19 10:47 AM
Scott Horowitz should not be on trustees. He does not represent the residents of Southampton but does toe the party line
By KentMercer (2), on Feb 25, 19 5:41 PM
Seems as if Bruce didn't get the nod after all! Time for an update please.
By bigfresh (4364), north sea on Mar 5, 19 10:18 PM