Town Democratic hopefuls vowing to wage primaries

The Riverhead Democratic Commitee doesn’t nominate candidates for town offices until Monday, but already two prospective candidates have vowed to run primaries if they’re not selected.

Bob Olsen of Riverhead, a retired State Police investigator who screened for town council, said he plans to run a primary if the Dems pass on him.

“I believe I have a following in Riverhead and enough resources to win,” he said on his Facebook page Friday. “This is not a threat. It is a promise that I think the Democrats in Riverhead should consider. I will also certainly be circulating independent petitions on the Integrity Party line. I really have nothing to lose in doing so. I just want everyone to understand that I am dead serious.”

Greg Fischer of Calverton, who publishes Political Patriot Newspapers, said he screened with the Democrats for supervisor, although he would consider running as a council candidate.

On Friday, he told the News-Review, “I told [the Democratic screening committee], if your going to get behind me, I’ll take what you put me in. If you’re not going to get behind me, I’m going to run a primary.”

He said he’s also considering running a full slate of candidates if the Democrats don’t nominate him.

The two men both noted they had not been contacted after screening.

Riverhead Democratic chairman Vinny Villella said the Democrats haven’t contacted any of the people they’ve screened. He said he doesn’t know yet who the Democrats will nominate.

Of the prospect of primaries being waged, “That’s good. It makes it more exciting.”

Unlike the Riverhead Republicans, who hold their nominating convention next Thursday, the Democrats have not released the names of people they’ve screened.

Former Supervisor Phil Cardinale said he screened for supervisor, but that the Democrats won’t even tell him who they’ve screened for council seats.

Mr. Cardinale said he still hasn’t made up his mind as to whether he would accept a nomination for supervisor. He said it would depend on who else is on the ticket and how strong a campaign the party seems able to run.

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