“Our problem is we have more people than we do spots, and that’s a good problem to have,” said Manny Vilar, the East Hampton Town Republican Party leader.
The suspense won’t last long: The party’s convention is Saturday, February 23, from 2 to 4 PM at the American Legion in Amagansett. The public is welcome after votes are cast for an impromptu meet and greet of candidates expected to grace this year’s ballots come Election Day.
“We have Republican, but many non-Republican candidates. We have incumbents and we have Independence Party members who have screened,” Vilar said.
There is, he senses, a great deal of dissatisfaction among would-be voters toward the Democratic incumbents, he said.
“They have an abysmal record. Deepwater is a disaster; Wainscott is a disaster. They throw money away in Montauk and make it worse,” he said. “They are the party of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the state Democrats. We are the party for the people of East Hampton.”
Vilar said there is another reason for optimism: infighting among the Democrats could yield to internal bickering and primary battles. Those kinds of splits often help third-party candidate like Conservative and Independence Party nominees.
“We have a long way to go, but to them, Governor Cuomo is more important than the people of Wainscott. They are pandering. We are remaining true to the course,” Vilar said.
One example of party politics rearing its head is the Democrats’ decision to run a candidate against incumbent Town Justice Lisa Rana, who ran unopposed last time around. “She has been an outstanding town justice. She is well known and liked in our community. She is from a good local family. We are going to run her on her record,” Vilar said.