But Van Scoyoc assured of at least one spot on the ballot

Political Lines Blurred In East Hampton




The Working Families Party never sees many votes come Election Day, but a spot on its line might prove to be a critical factor come November 5.

So far, the WFP has endorsed only four candidates in East Hampton: three candidates for town trustee and incumbent Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc.

It is an important nod for Van Scoyoc, who potentially could otherwise have found himself without a ballot spot.

That’s because the reform Democratic Party will challenge Van Scoyoc with David Gruber under the Fusion Party banner. The winner of the primary will be listed on the Democratic Party Line.

Representatives for the Republican Party and the Independence Party said this week Richard Myers would be their standard bearer.

But The Independent has learned that Myers may have to back out due to a technicality. He can be removed from the ballot and replaced should that occur in a timely manner. He could also be challenged in a primary, though there doesn’t seem to be a movement underfoot.

Councilman Jeff Bragman, the Democratic Party maverick who won election to the town board in November, could head as many as four ballot lines should he decide to buck the system. He would be given the GOP and Independence lines right off the bat, and he could challenge Van Scoyoc in a Democratic primary.

Gruber could make it a three-way primary or withdraw.

All petitions must be filed by Thursday, April 4, though the ballots can be changed for a week after that. As it stands, the former Democratic Party leader plans to run, and his supporters believe Van Scoyoc’s position supporting Deepwater Wind’s South Fork wind farm makes him vulnerable.

The 2019 GOP ticket, barring a change at the top, is set: For town board, the Republican committee chose Bonnie Brady, a registered Democrat, and Betsey Bambrick, a member of the Independence Party, to run for seats occupied by incumbent Democratic Councilwoman Sylvia Overby and Councilman David Lys.

Susan Vorpahl and Jim Grimes, incumbent Republican trustees, are among the Republicans’ nominees for that nine-person body.

Dell Cullum and Rick Drew, who were elected as trustees on the Democratic ticket in 2015 and 2017, respectively, are running on the Republican ticket this year. The other GOP candidates for trustee are Stephen Lester; Rona Klopman, a member of the Reform Democrats; Mike Havens, a former candidate; Fallon Ecker-Bloecker Nigro, the daughter of former Trustee Joe Bloecker; and Dave Talmage, a former Republican.

Klopman said the Reform Dems have also gathered the necessary petitions.

Incidentally, Klopman was named to the Working Families ballot as a trustee candidate along with Francis Bock and Bill Taylor, who are both candidates on the Democratic line as well.

The GOP has nominated incumbent town justice Lisa Rana, while the Democrats have nominated Andrew Strong, an attorney who serves as general counsel to Organización Latino-Americana of Eastern Long Island.

The Republicans have also once again nominated incumbent Highway Superintendent Stephen Lynch, who has been cross-endorsed by the Democrats.

Rana, who was cross-endorsed by the Democrats in the last election, can take Strong on not only in the general election but in the primary as well. As a licensed attorney, she does not need a waiver from party leaders.

The Reform Democrats are offering a slate they call the Fusion Ticket that includes six Republicans, five Democrats, and one unaffiliated candidate. Brady, a Democrat, and Bambrick, who is unaffiliated with a political party, will represent the party in the race for town board.

For town trustee, the Independence Party nominated all nine of the candidates chosen by the Republicans. The Independence Party has also cross-endorsed Rana for town justice and Lynch for highway superintendent.

Two longtime incumbent assessors, Jill Massa, a Republican, and Jeanne Nielsen, a lifelong Democrat, received the Independence, Democratic, Republican, and Reform Democrats’ nods.

rmurphy@indyeastend.com