Democrats Name Their Candidates
East Hampton Town Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc, Councilwoman Sylvia Overby, and Councilman David Lys were among the candidates formally nominated by the East Hampton Democratic Committee at its Feb. 13 convention. The purpose of the convention is to select candidates for the Nov. 5 election.
The three incumbents hope to maintain the Democrats' 5-0 supermajority on the East Hampton Town Board. Mr. Van Scoyoc, a former board member, is seeking a second two-year term as supervisor. Before winning two elections to the town board, he served on the town's zoning board of appeals and planning board.
Ms. Overby is a two-term incumbent seeking a third four-year term. Mr. Lys, who was appointed to his seat in January 2018 following Mr. Van Scoyoc's election to supervisor in November 2017, fended off a primary challenge before winning election in November to complete Mr. Van Scoyoc’s unfinished term.
Five incumbents were nominated to run for town trustee, the terms of which are also two years: Francis Bock, the clerk; Bill Taylor, a deputy clerk; Susan McGraw-Keber; John Aldred, and Rick Drew will all seek re-election. The Democrats also endorsed Jim Grimes, a Republican incumbent who is the trustees' other deputy clerk.
The Democrats nominated Tim Garneau, Zach Cohen, and Mike Martinsen for the trustees' remaining three seats. Mr. Garneau is a member of the Democratic Committee. Mr. Martinsen is a fisherman and oyster farmer with Montauk Pearl Oysters. Mr. Cohen, also a member of the committee, has made unsuccessful bids for supervisor and trustee. He is chairman of the town's nature preserve committee.
Brian Byrnes, an incumbent trustee, will not seek re-election. "It's been really rewarding being a trustee," Mr. Byrnes, who is serving his third term, said last week. "I'm not a fan of long-term political jobs."
In a sign of an apparent schism between the Democratic committee and another incumbent Democrat, Dell Cullum, who is serving his first term as a trustee, Cate Rogers, the committee's chairwoman, said last week only that "I haven't heard from him." Responding to an inquiry as to his plans, Mr. Cullum said in an email on Monday that he has "no political aspirations" and that, "as of today, I have not decided whether to seek re-election or not."
Andrew Strong won the committee's nomination for town justice. Mr. Strong is an attorney who serves as general counsel to Organizaciùn Latino-Americana of Long Island, a nonprofit organization, commonly known as Ola, that promotes social, economic, cultural, and educational development for the region's Latino communities.
The committee also endorsed three incumbents: Steve Lynch, the highway superintendent, and Jeanne Nielsen and Jill Massa for tax assessor.
Almost 80 percent of the committee's 36 members cast votes for the full slate of candidates, Ms. Rogers said. In a statement last week, she pointed to the candidates' "proven track record of promoting renewable energy, affordable housing, and clean water."
To the Star, Ms Rogers said, "There's a new energy in the committee, and I think in this slate as well. It's wonderful to have a group of people that are so talented and have the ability to work collaboratively as a group."
The East Hampton Town Republican Committee extended its candidate search, deciding to interview candidates last Saturday and Sunday, the second weekend it had done so. The Republican committee also rescheduled its nominating convention to Saturday at 2 p.m. at the American Legion Hall in Amagansett.
Elaine Jones, chairwoman of the East Hampton Independence Party, said that the Independents will screen candidates on March 1 and 2 at Ashawagh Hall in Springs.