East End to Get New Suffolk Legislators

The East End is getting two new Suffolk legislators next year.
The East End is getting two new Suffolk legislators next year.

Residents of The Hamptons and the North Fork will have new representation in the Suffolk County Legislature for the first time in about a decade after two incumbents declined to seek re-election.

Democrat Catherine Kent will face Republican Catherine Stark in the race to replace outgoing is Suffolk Legislator Al Krupski (D-Peconic), who has represented the North Fork since 2013 and is running for Southold town supervisor this fall. On the South Fork, Republican Manuel Vilar Jr. is running against Democrat Ann Welker for the seat held since 2015 by Suffolk Legislator Bridget Fleming (D-Noyac), who is going to work in the private sector instead of seeking a fifth term.

“I’m deeply honored to be considered for the position of Suffolk County legislator,” Welker said after Fleming endorsed her and before the Suffolk County Democratic Committee nominated her candidacy.

The county legislative races will come as a vacant seat for the county’s top-elected official will be at the top of the ticket — Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone is term limited — and pivotal town races will be further down ballots. Democrats nominated prosecutor-turned-entrepreneur David Calone for county executive and the Suffolk Republican Committee nominated Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine.

In the East End legislative seats, Welker made headlines in 2017 when she became the first woman elected to the Town of Southampton Board of Trustees in the panel’s inception in 1686. Her GOP opponent Vilar has run for multiple local elected positions in the Town of East Hampton in recent years.

On the North Fork, the race between the two Catherines pits Kent, a former member of the Riverhead town board’s Democratic minority, against Stark, a Republican who serves as an aide to Krupski. Republicans currently holds the majority of the county legislature after flipping the chamber from Democratic control in November.

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