Primary Primer: Four East End Town, County Races on June 2023 Ballots
Nine candidates are facing off in four major and minor party primary election battles across East End towns and in a county legislative district seat race on the North Fork this month.
Registered Republicans will choose who will run on the GOP line in the general election in Suffolk County’s 1st Legislative District, registered Democrats will decide candidates that will advance in the Shelter Island Town supervisor and council races, and Working Families Party members will vote for a pair of Town of Southampton judicial candidates.
The four Twin Forks region races are the only primaries on ballots in all of Suffolk County this year. When only local races are on ballots, small vote tallies can swing results amid low turnout, especially in such less populated communities.
Here are the candidates who voters will decide between in the primary elections on June 27. The 10-day early voting period runs June 17–25.
2023 East End Primary Elections
SUFFOLK COUNTY 1ST LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT
North Fork residents will elect a new county representative for the first time in about a decade now that Suffolk Legislator Al Krupski (D-Peconic), who has represented the area since 2013, is vacating his seat to run for Southold town supervisor this fall. The winner of this primary will face Democrat Catherine Kent, a former member of the Riverhead town board’s Democratic minority, on Election Day.
Catherine L. Stark
The Suffolk County Republican Committee nominated Stark, Krupski’s longtime chief of staff, to replace him. Stark, 59, and a lifelong Republican, has held various positions in county government from the office of the clerk of legislature, to the office of real property tax services, and a stint in former Suffolk County Executive Robert Gaffney’s office, to name a few, over the past two decades. If she wins, she will join the Republican majority in the Suffolk County Legislature.
Williams, a lifelong North Fork resident and businessman, is challenging Stark for the GOP line in this race. The former Southold town trustee has owned Country Time Cycle of Mattituck for more than 25 years, which drove his interest in traffic flow solutions, land preservation and revamping the permit process. Williams has also been involved in a litany of community organizations, serving a Grand Knight of the Marian Council of the Knights of Columbus, Cub Master, committee member of the Cub Scouts, board member of the Mattituck Gun Club, Coach of CYO basketball, North Fork Soccer and Little League and more.
SHELTER ISLAND TOWN SUPERVISOR
The majority of East End residents will have a new town supervisor next year as a rare political sea change is on the horizon with no incumbents on ballots in four of the region’s five top elected town seats — something that hasn’t happened in 30 years. But Shelter Island residents live in the only town on the East End in which an incumbent town supervisor is running for re-election this year.
Gerard F. Siller
Shelter Island Town Supervisor Gerard F. Siller — who leads the least populous town on Long Island — reportedly stated his intent to only serve two terms, but now is looking to keep the Democratic nomination as he seeks a third term. Siller has various experience in local affairs, serving on the local school district Board of Education in the late 1980s and ’90s, running bars and a restaurant, running a successful landscaping business and previously serving as town supervisor from 1998 to 2001. After two decades removed from office, Siller aims to hold the position once again.
Arnott Gordon Gooding
Gooding is challenging Siller for the Democratic seat in the Town of Shelter Island supervisor’s race. As chairman of the Community Preservation Fund Advisory Board — the panel that oversees how to spend open space preservation funds fueled by a 2% real estate transfer tax — he is known for his efforts of preserving the protected Klenawicus Airfield in 2022. He has led the CPF to create plans for protected areas to remain undeveloped.
SHELTER ISLAND TOWN COUNCIL
Three Democrats are running for two Democratic lines that will appear on ballots in the Town of Shelter Island Council race on Election Day as they seek to reverse Republican gains on the town board in recent years.
Albert K. Dickson
Former Shelter Island Town Councilman Albert K. Dickson is seeking the Democratic line as he runs for his old seat on the town board. From his long career as an Environmental Project Manager, Dickinson has coordinated all aspects of a site decontamination, from initial assessment, to remediation, and final disposal of hazardous materials. He is currently the chairman of the Water Advisory Committee and aims to use his expertise working on issues surrounding water, community housing and tick-borne illnesses.
Dyett is also seeking the Democratic line in the Shelter Island Council race. He serves on the Sylvester Manor Board of Trustees in both the Finance and Audit Committee and Governance Committee. He is the co-founder of Grind, a workplace platform for entrepreneurs and freelancers. Dyett has founded and assisted in some capacity several successful start-ups, owned his own consulting firm and is experienced in real estate and corporate law. He currently serves on the board of the Shelter Island Yacht Club and is a Membership Committee member of the New York Yacht Club.
Waife is additionally seeking the Democratic line in the race for the Town of Shelter Island Council. Waife moved back to Shelter Island in 1989 after a stint of city-living and world travel that took him away from his family home on the Island for a coupdecades. He and his family live on the Island where he founded and owns Eel Town Oysters.
SOUTHAMPTON TOWN JUSTICE
The only third-party primary in Suffolk County this year is in the Town of Southampton, where two candidates are vying for the Working Families Party line in the town justice race. The seat is one of four that preside over all criminal, civil, traffic, and parking cases within the town.
Gary J. Weber
Incumbent Southampton Town Justice Gary J. Weber, who won his seat on the Republican line, is seeking re-election to another four-year term to the judicial post he has held since 2016.
John A. Ortiz
Ortiz, who has practiced law in both the public and private sectors, is challenging Weber on the minor party line. The Southampton resident served as an Assistant and later Deputy District Attorney while in the public sector with a focus on consumer protection and white collar crimes. In the private sector, he practiced as a civil litigator on personal injury, complex construction, medical malpractice and labor law cases.