BEVERLEA WALZ PHOTO | Supervisor candidates two years ago (from left) Jim Dougherty, Bob DeStefano Sr. and Glenn Waddington. Mr. Dougherty secured a narrow win for a third term over Mr. Waddington.
With Memorial Day just ahead and a town election more than five months away, it may seem premature to begin speculation about who’s running and who isn’t.
But candidates are already making moves. Witness a Town Board member this week saying wearily in the middle of a debate, “I love election years.”
What some disparage as “the silly season” officially gets under way June 4 when pols eyeing a spot on the ballot begin seeking signatures necessary to get their names listed for the November election.
Some things are clear. Supervisor Jim Dougherty, the Democratic standard bearer at the top of their ticket, is planning another campaign for a fourth two-year term in Town Hall. Democratic Party Chairwoman Heather Reylek said the supervisor is “excited” about a another run for office.
Mr. Dougherty echoed Ms. Reylek’s comments. “I’m happy to serve again if the people of Shelter Island will have me,” Mr. Dougherty said. What’s propelling him forward is a desire to keep an eye on finances and to work with the staff at Sylvester Manor as it continues to push forward with development plans, he said.
Republican Party Chairman Bob DeStefano Jr. couldn’t be reached about his slate. His father, Bob DeStefano Sr., the Reporter’s sport’s columnist, ran a distant third two years on the Republican ticket. “Absolutely not,” Mr. DeStefano said about making another run for the post. “If they gave it to me, I wouldn’t take it,” he said.
But Glenn Waddington, who ran on the Conservative and Independence party tickets, hasn’t made up his mind. He placed a close second to Mr. Dougherty in 2011, so close, in fact, that on election night, he thought he had won, only to have the win snatched from him with a count of absentee ballots.
“Don’t count me out, whether it’s this time or the next time,” Mr. Waddington said about another run for supervisor.
There are two Town Board seats, currently held by Ed Brown and Chris Lewis, to be contested in November. Voters will also be electing a town clerk, highway superintendent and a tax assessor.
Both Mr. Brown and Ms. Lewis will seek re-election. Mr. Brown, who won his seat with endorsements from the Conservative and Independence parties, will seek the Republican nod as well. Ms. Lewis is a Republican.
“It gets in your blood,” Mr. Brown said about elected office. “I want to continue to work to continue the quality of life for our community.
“It takes a great deal of time,” Ms. Lewis said about the demands of the job. But she’s ready to campaign for another four-year term.
Who might oppose the incumbents? That’s where certainty ends. Ms. Reylek will only say that it’s up to the outcome of the petitions — the forms candidates need to have signed by voters to get their names on the ballot. Based on a formula worked out by the Suffolk County Board of Elections, Democratic candidates need 40 qualified signatures and Republicans need 39.
Conservatives need only three signatures. Independents need six, and candidates for the Working Families Party need a single signature.
Town Clerk Dorothy Ogar says she’ll be on the ballot again, ready to serve another four-year term. This would be her 11th term as town clerk. Four years ago she ran with the endorsements of the Republican and Independence parties and had no opposition.
Patricia Castoldi is seeking another four-year term as a tax assessor, having won handily four years ago in her race against Democrat Joe Messer.
Highway Superintendent and Public Works Commissioner Jay Card Jr., who created something of a controversy among supporters when he hinted earlier this year that he might not seek a second term, is mum about the November election. But Ms. Reylek said he’ll be on the Democratic ticket again. Two years ago, Mr. Card handily defeated Republican Hap Bowditch for the seat after Mark Ketcham chose not to seek another term.
The petitioning period ends July 11 for party-affiliated candidates and August 20 for independent candidates.