Longtime political strategist and local radio disc jockey John Galla of Wading River was elected as the new chairman of the Riverhead Town Republican committee last Wednesday night.
Mr. Galla had been one of three people seeking the job, but the other two, Frank Seabrook and Mario Carrera, backed out when it become apparent that Mr. Galla had the votes to win, according to committee vice chairman George Harkin.
Mr. Galla, who has lived in the town since 1979 and has worked on campaigns for various town, state and federal candidates both on Long Island and elsewhere, has also worked as an advertising consultant and recently has been a disc jockey for WRIV 1390 AM in Riverhead.
He has not appeared on his regular 10 a.m. to noon show, called “The Radio Factory,” since his election.
Station manager and co-owner Bruce Tria said the show is “on hiatus” due to the potential conflict.
“He could return somebody, but right now it’s on hiatus because he’s the town GOP leader,” Mr. Tria said.
Mr. Galla’s voice may sound familiar to many people who don’t otherwise know him because he has done many radio and television advertisements.
He succeeds former chair Nancy Reyer, who stepped down earlier this year, and her predecessor, Martin Keller, who also stepped down from the post two years ago.
“For years I’ve always been doing campaigns and I’ve been a member of the committee a long time,” Mr. Galla said. “Then this vacancy occurred and I figured it might be a good culmination of my experiences and I thought I’d like to take a whack at it … I want to see what I can bring.”
Mr. Galla will lead the Republicans into a town election in November in which three incumbent Town Board members are up for re-election, Supervisor Sean Walter and Councilmen Jim Wooten and George Gabrielsen.
“I think John Galla is going to do a great job,” said county Republican leader John Jay LaValle, who was present at Wednesday’s vote. “He’s been a loyal Republican and I’ve known him for years.”