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Democratic Primary Tuesday

Thu, 06/20/2019 - 10:17

A primary election to choose the Democratic slate for East Hampton Town Trustee and the party’s nominee for town justice happens on Tuesday. 

Polling stations will be the same as those in every political election. Residents can vote in their election district’s polling location from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. 

While Democrats at present hold a 7-to-2 majority on the trustee board, a split in the party last year pit its “establishment” candidates and committee members against those of a faction calling itself the East Hampton Reform Democrats. The latter’s candidates for townwide office are endorsed by the East Hampton Independence Party. They hope to be grouped on a new ticket, the EH Fusion Party, on the Nov. 5 ballot, though that is in question because its candidates neglected to file timely acceptance certificates for their nomination. Its candidates’ effort to appear on the Republican Party line was also unsuccessful. 

Twelve candidates for trustee, one of them a Republican, will square off for the nine positions on the Democratic ticket. The East Hampton Town Democratic Committee has endorsed the incumbent trustees Francis Bock, Bill Taylor, Susan McGraw Keber, John Aldred, and Rick Drew. Mr. Bock is the body’s clerk, and Mr. Taylor is one of two deputy clerks. Jim Grimes, a Republican incumbent who is the other deputy clerk, also won the party’s endorsement, as did Mike Martinsen, Tim Garneau, and Ben Dollinger, all first-time candidates. 

The Reform Democrats are backing Dell Cullum, an incumbent trustee who was elected as a Democrat in 2017, Stephen Lester, a former Democratic trustee, and Rona Klopman, a longtime member of the Democratic Committee. 

The Reform Democrats have endorsed Lisa Rana, the incumbent town justice and a Republican. Ms. Rana, who will appear on the Republican, Conservative, and Independence Party lines in the Nov. 5 general election, interviewed with the Democratic Committee for its endorsement. When it declined to endorse her, she gathered petition signatures sufficient to force a primary election. 

She will face Andrew Strong, the Democratic Committee’s selection. He is currently the general counsel to Organizacion Latino-Americana of Eastern Long Island, a nonprofit commonly known as OLA that promotes social economic, cultural, and educational development for the region’s Latino communities.