Beaches won’t be the only place people will be flocking to in the Hamptons this June. This month is also time for voters to hit the polls for some pivotal local elections.
There are a total of 15 local races on ballots this month. Seven of the 10 villages on the East End have elections in June, when two of the region’s five towns also have another eight primaries between them. While a handful of the village races are uncontested and some town primaries will decide which candidate will get a minor-party line on Election Day, a few races are particularly spicy.
Chief among them is the June 18 rematch between freshman Southampton Village Mayor Jesse Warren and his predecessor, Michael Irving, who Warren unseated two years ago. The race proved notable for its rare influx of outside campaign influence, most notably from the Long Island Law Enforcement Foundation, the Suffolk County Police Benevolent Association’s super PAC, which has sent mailers attacking Warren, who has been in a public feud with the village police chief over spending. The mailers erroneously claim Warren associated with a pimp.
“What we’re seeing right now is the worst of the worst,” Warren said during a debate hosted by the Express News Group. “While I am appalled, I believe that most of our residents are appalled as well.”
While Warren insisted that his campaign is focusing on his administration’s accomplishments, Irving blamed Warren for the harsh tone of the race.
“The tactics that have developed in the last two years is a direct result of the individual that is mayor,” Irving responded. “I don’t endorse any of these childish advertisements.”
It’s not the only village mayoral contest on the East End. First-term Sag Harbor Mayor Kathleen Mulcahy is facing a challenge from three-term Trustee James Larocca on June 15.
“I am breaking a promise to myself that I was never going to run for mayor because in the last couple of years I have become deeply, mortally worried about this community that we all love,” Larocco told another ENG debate.
“We got a lot done in the last two years, despite the pandemic,” Mulcahy responded, emphasizing that she will maintain an open-door policy and collaborative approach.
VILLAGE TRUSTEE RACES
Of the seven East End villages in which trustee elections are on ballots this year, only two feature a contested race. They also happen to be in Sag Harbor and Southampton villages.
Bayard Fenwick, a local real estate agent and assistant captain of the Sag Harbor Fire Department, is making it a three-way race for Sag Harbor Trustees Aidan Corish and Robert Plumb, who are running for re-election.
In the Village of Southampton, incumbent trustees and Irving allies Mark Parash and Andrew Pilaro are running for re-election against challengers Robin Brown and Roy Stevenson.
Of the remaining five uncontested East End village races, two feature fresh faces, while the other three are incumbents running uncontested.
On June 18, Village of Sagaponack incumbent Trustee William Barbour is seeking re-election unopposed and Carrie Thayer Crowley is running uncontested for the seat being vacated by Joy Sieger, who’s the deputy mayor.
On June 15, North Haven Village Trustee Terie Diat is seeking re-election unopposed and Chris Fiore is running uncontested for the seat vacated by A. James Laspesa.
And on June 18, six incumbents are running uncontested re-election campaigns in three villages. They include Quogue village trustees Randy Cardo and Ted Necarsulmer, Westhampton Beach village trustees Rob Rubio and Brian Tymann and West Hampton Dunes village trustees Gary Trimarchi and John J. Efff Jr.
In Dering Harbor, incumbent Trustee Ari Benacerraf ran re-election unopposed on May 28 and Brandon Rose won the seat left vacant by Clora Kelly, who resigned from the board in March.
The Village of East Hampton does not have any elections this month and the Village of Greenport held its elections in March.
Some East End voters, depending upon their party registration, will have a chance to vote in eight primaries across two South Fork towns when the early voting period starts on June 12 ahead of the June 22 primary day.
The most high profile primary is in the Town of East Hampton, where Councilman Jeffrey Bragman is challenging Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc to decide who will run the Democratic line in the November elections.
Democratic voters will also decide which two candidates win the three-way race for the Dem line in the East Hampton town board race: John P Whelan, Cathy A Rogers or Kathee Burke-Gonzalez. That’s in addition to 10 candidates running for nine Democratic lines in the East Hampton town council race.
Democrats, Conservatives and Working Families Party members will also decide five primaries in the Town of Southampton.
Three of those primaries are in the race for town justice. Of four incumbent justices, two have terms that expire this December. Deborah E. Kooperstein is not seeking re-election, but Barbara L. Wilson is, and she’s running in all three primaries. Wilson is facing Adam B. Grossman and Shari P. Oster in the Democratic race, Bryan L. Browns and Patrick J Gunn in the Conservative primary, as well as Browns, Oster and Grossman for the Working Families Party line.
Rounding out the Southampton primaries are two more Working Families Party races. Thomas F. Neely and Marc Braeger are seeking the nod in the race to replace outgoing Southampton Town Highway Superintendent Alex D. Gregor.
And there are four seeking that party’s line in the town council race: Miranda P Schultz, Sean P. McArdle, Robin L. Long, and Thomas Schiavoni, the lone incumbent in that primary.
For voting information, contact your local village or visit suffolkvotes.com