It’s not every day that a past presidential candidate comes to speak on the East End, but for Howard Dean, former chairman of the Democratic National Committee and six-term governor of Vermont, it’s like coming home.
“I more or less grew up out there,” he said, speaking of East Hampton, in a phone interview on May 9. “It’s the only place I’ve ever voted besides Vermont. And my mother still lives out there.” His mother, Andree Dean, is a longtime East Hampton resident, and the Dean pedigree on Long Island goes back to the 18th Century. “Big Howard,” Dean’s father, was passionately involved with St. Luke’s Episcopal Church on James Lane, and was a member of the Maidstone Club.
Dean will be making an appearance at Peconic Landing on Thursday, May 16, at 4 PM, where he will host an intimate, nonpartisan discussion on the upcoming 2020 elections. The event is free and open to the public, although reservations are required.
According to the website at the National Democratic Institute, of which Dean is a board member, he is listed as “former DNC chairman, presidential candidate, six-term governor, and physician,” who currently works “as an independent consultant focusing on the areas of health care, early childhood development, alternative energy, and the expansion of grassroots politics around the world.”
“We are happy to have Mr. Dean speak at Peconic Landing,” said Robert J. Syron, president and CEO of Peconic Landing, in a statement. “His discussions inspire us to participate in conversation with our friends and neighbors. This is a special event for the Lifetime Learning Speakers Bureau, which offers lectures and discussions throughout the year. We thank Mr. Dean for his time and invite our neighbors in the community to attend this public event.”
“We’ll talk about 2020 and Brexit, for sure,” Dean said. “Everyone wants to discuss that. And this is a very interesting, and interested, group of people; they follow current events,” he said of the residents of Peconic Landing. When asked if he was going to be stumping for any 2020 candidates during his talk, Dean replied, “I’ve been doing a lot of work for the DNC, but this is going to be a mixed-bag at Peconic Landing, so I have to remain neutral.”
Dean shared some of his happy childhood memories of growing up in East Hampton, “when you were allowed to have fires on the beach and it wasn’t a big deal,” he said, laughing. “I remember going to Georgica Beach and surfing, then having a cookout around the fire, toasting marshmallows, and just having fun.”
Peconic Landing is a Continuing Care Retirement Community overlooking the Long Island Sound. It’s located at 1500 Brecknock Road in Greenport.
Those interested in attending Dean’s talk are asked to visit peconiclanding.ticketleap.com to register.
For more information about Peconic Landing, visit www.peconiclanding.org.