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Republican candidate for highway superintendent drops out of race

06/21/2017 6:01 AM |

The only Riverhead Town position with a Democratic incumbent in this fall’s elections no longer has a Republican opponent.

William Van Helmond of Jamesport, who had received the unanimous endorsement of the Republican committee to run for highway superintendent, dropped out of the race last week.

“I withdrew for personal reasons,” he said in an interview. “But my intent is to come back and seek office in the future.”

Mr. Van Helmond owns a landscaping business in Jamesport and has been involved in a number of civic and community organizations.

His opponent in the fall election would have been incumbent Democrat George Woodson, who has been highway superintendent for the past eight years and was a longtime department employee before that.

Mr. Woodson and Town Clerk Diane Wilhelm, whose term is not up for re-election this year, are the town’s only Democratic office holders.

Meanwhile, Republicans will seek a new candidate for highway supervisor, according to committee chairman Remy Bell.

“There is no replacement at this time,” he said. “But we have time.”

The deadline for filing nominating petitions for candidates is July 13, according to the Board of Elections. Mr. Bell said the committee has not begun collecting petitions for any of its candidates yet.

On May 10, the Republican committee chose the following nominees: incumbent Sean Walter for supervisor, incumbent Jodi Giglio and newcomer Frank Beyrodt for town council and incumbent Laverne Tennenberg for assessor.

On May 23, the Democrats selected Mr. Woodson, along with challengers Laura Jens-Smith for supervisor, Michele Lynch and Catherine Kent for council and Susan Ambro for assessor.

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