Shelter Island’s Democratic Committee made it official on Friday, April 15, that Supervisor Jim Dougherty will seek re-election this fall for a third two-year term in what’s shaping up to be a three-way race.
Bob DeStefano, the longtime golf pro at Gardiner’s Bay Country Club, will head the Republican ticket as the party’s candidate for supervisor, Republican Committee Chair Amber Williams confirmed Friday. The rest of the GOP’s candidates should be announced within the new few weeks, she said.
Councilman Glenn Waddington, a senior captain on South Ferry is also throwing his hat in the ring for supervisor. A former Town Board member who ran again in 2007 after having been off the board for several years, he confirmed Friday that he would seek the supervisor’s post as an independent.
Democratic Committee Chair Heather Reylek announced the Democrats’ full slate on Friday.
For Town Board, the committee picked two political newcomers, Ian Weslek and Daniel Fokine. Jay Card is the committee’s choice for highway superintendent. It will be Mr. Card’s second run for the post. He lost to Mark Ketcham in 2009.
Mr. Weslek, 39, a building contractor with his own firm, Weslek Woodworking Inc., grew up on Shelter Island. He served in the Navy from 1991 to 1997 and was discharged as a petty officer second class. He and his wife Victoria have two boys, Harrison, who will be 4 on Saturday, and Evan, 2. They are expecting a daughter in about four weeks.
“I’m really excited to be working with Dan and Jim and Jay,” said Mr. Weslek on Monday. We’re going to be a great quartet for the town.” He said it is “time for young blood” in town government.
Mr. Fokine, 29, works with his father Chris at Fokine Construction Services. He and his wife Brianne have been in the news recently as proponents of a farmers’ market that will debut this June on the grounds of the Shelter Island Historical Society. He is a 2004 graduate of Wheaton College in Massachusetts.
“There are a lot of reasons,” Mr. Fokine replied when asked why he had decided to run. “I really like Shelter Island. There are projects and issues I’d like to participate in.” He said he didn’t want to campaign for “any big changes” but wanted to “help out and see a few projects clear.”
While it came as no surprise that Mr. Dougherty would run again, the nominees for the board were picked only after “weeks of intensive interviews,” Ms. Reylek said.
“These are enthusiastic, young candidates, both with strong roots in the community,” she said. “Along with Jim, they provide Island voters with a real choice and an opportunity to put together a new working majority for the Town Board.”
Mr. Waddington, who has made no secret of his intention to challenge Mr. Dougherty, was elected with the Democratic Committee’s support four years ago. He also had the Independence, Conservative and Working Families lines. He did not screen with the Democrats for the supervisor nomination, he said.
Also running on the Democratic line will be incumbents Al Hammond and Barbara Jean Ianfolla for town assessor, and Nancy Kotula for receiver of taxes.
The two Town Board seats at stake in November’s election are those held by Mr. Waddington and by Peter Reich, who ran on the Republican and Conservative lines in 2007. He said Friday he would seek reelection on the Republican line.
Mr. Waddington has been the only board member besides Mr. Dougherty who was elected with the Democratic Committee’s endorsement. Councilman Ed Brown ran on the Conservative and Independence lines and Councilwoman Chris Lewis ran on the GOP line. Their terms expire in 2013.