They May Say Yea To Jay

Stanzione and Overton to share top of ticket

    The East Hampton Town Republican Committee voted on Feb. 13 on its nominees for town supervisor and highway superintendent, and although it is not making its choices public yet, its chairman said Monday that the committee had only screened one candidate for each of the positions — Jay Schneiderman for supervisor and Steve Lynch for highway superintendent.
    Also on Feb. 13, the committee interviewed two potential candidates for town justice — Carl Irace, a former town attorney, and Robert Kouffman, an attorney who has run for the job in the past. The G.O.P. screened candidates for town board, town trustees, assessor, and town clerk as well at that meeting, its chairman, Kurt Kappel, said Monday.
    As expected, Republican Councilman Dominick Stanzione met with the committee members to make the case for a second term and Fred Overton, the town clerk, was interviewed to run for town board after 14 years in his current position and 12 before that as a town trustee and town assessor.
    “I’ve heard a lot for the past 14 years sitting with the town board,” Mr. Overton said. “Not that I have all the answers, but I think I have a lot to offer. . . . I think I have an insight. I’ve lived it for 14 years.”
    If Mr. Schneiderman, a county legislator who was town supervisor for four years, is chosen to lead the ticket, “I think he’ll be a great candidate,” Mr. Overton said yesterday. He was first elected town clerk the year that Mr. Schneiderman was elected supervisor and has worked under both Democratic and Republican administrations since then.
    He said he’s had good feedback from the committee, but added, “When you’re in politics for as long as I’ve been, you realize nothing is for sure until all the T’s are crossed and the I’s are dotted.”
    “I think we really have a strong slate this year,” Mr. Kappel said. “There are a lot of people who are pretty energized who want to run.”
    Carol Brennan, the deputy clerk for many years, is eyeing Mr. Overton’s position and was the only one to meet with the committee last week, Mr. Kappel said. Mr. Overton said he had full confidence in her ability to run the clerk’s office, something she did often in his absence over the past year.
    Joe Bloecker, a town trustee, screened for assessor, and for trustee the committee interviewed Dennis Curles and Mike Bottini last week. Earlier, it had screened Tom Cooper and six incumbent trustees who plan to run again — Diane McNally, Nat Miller, Stephanie Forsberg, Tim Bock, Sean McCaffrey, and Deborah Klughers, who was elected on the Democratic ticket. On Feb. 13, the committee voted to re-nominate the five Republican incumbents, leaving four spots to fill on the trustee ticket. The committee will interview and vote on additional candidates at a meeting on Wednesday.
    It expects to name its full slate by the end of the month, Mr. Kappel said. This despite the fact that Republican Supervisor Bill Wilkinson has not yet indicated whether he wants to run for a third term. Mr. Wilkinson has run for office three times, winning in 2009 against Ben Zwirn and beating out the Democratic candidate, Zachary Cohen, by just 15 votes in 2011.
    Mr. Cohen is among this year’s potential candidates for the top job on the Democratic ticket, but the Democratic Committee is still in the process of screening. Larry Cantwell, who is retiring from his 30-year position as the East Hampton Village administrator, has said he is pondering a run for town supervisor. He served on the East Hampton Town Board before taking his job with the village. Mr. Cantwell is rumored to have the party’s support, but Democrats will not name their slate until March and perhaps even April.