Riverhead Democratic Committee chooses new leader Thursday night

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Newly-elected Democratic chair Marjorie Acevedo speaks at Thursday night’s meeting in Riverhead.

Members of the Riverhead Town Democratic Committee elected a new chairperson, Marjorie Acevedo, at their meeting Thursday night in Riverhead.

Ms. Acevedo of Wading River succeeds Vinny Villella, who did not seek a second two-year term due to health reasons. Mr. Villella couldn’t make the meeting, held at the Veterans of Foreign Wars hall on Parkway Street, because of cancer treatment.

Mr. Villella, who served as Riverhead supervisor in 1998 and 1999, was elected party chairman in 2010, succeeding 10-year leader Butch Langhorn.

Mike Roth, a Wading River pizzeria owner, was re-elected to vice chairman, while Don Jayamaha and Pamela Miles- Weston were elected as treasurer and secretary respectively. There were no other nominations for the positions.

Ms. Acevedo has been an active committee member for the past 30 years, and became the second woman elected as town chairperson. She told the committee she would seek to end the divisiveness within the committee.

“I care about what happens at the committee meetings, I care about this party,” she told the crowd gathered at the hall. “Working together, we can accomplish what we really want to accomplish.”

Ms. Acevedo, a legislative aide for County Legis. William Lindsay, said the committee will focus on getting Rob Gottschalk elected to the open town tax receiver position this year. Mr. Gottschalk, a former assessor, is running on an independent party line due to a missed deadline.

The new committee chairperson also stressed the importance of finding candidates to run for office.

“I need each and every one of you to reach out to your community, to your [election districts] and find people,” she said.

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