With the presidential and congressional races decided in November, local elections will dominate the ballot in 2013. But few could have anticipated that a very unusual local race would heat up during the current holiday season with the polls opening nearly 11 months before town board seats and other offices will be decided.
On Tuesday, January 15 Republican Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter and Democratic Southold Councilman Al Krupski will square off in a special election to represent the North Fork and part of southeastern Brookhaven in the County Legislature. The seat opened up when veteran lawmaker Ed Romaine was elected Brookhaven Town Supervisor this past Election Day.
Mr. Walter, a Wading River resident, is a former town attorney first elected supervisor in 2009. Mr. Krupski, whose family owns and operates a Peconic pumpkin farm, served as a Town Trustee for 20 years and has now been a Town Board member for eight years.
Mr. Walter has stressed economic and tax issues in his campaign, saying businesses have returned to Riverhead’s Main Street during his tenure. He argues that’s he’s best prepared to follow Mr. Romaine’s example in providing a strong voice for the North Fork in a county government dominated by western Suffolk interests.
As one of only two elected Democrats in Southold government, Mr. Krupski said he’s proven his ability to cross party lines to work on issues such as land preservation, transportation and containing the size and cost of government. He’s said he would give the agricultural community its first representative in county government.
The two will appear in the campaign’s only face-to-face debate, sponsored by the Times/Review Newsgroup, at Martha Clara Vineyards on Sound Avenue in Riverhead on Monday, Jan. 7 at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for the debate, which will be moderated by Times/Review executive editor Grant Parpan.