Riverhead Republican Committee vice chairman steps down

George Harkin in Wading River
BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | George Harkin in Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter’s law offices in Wading River in April 2011.

The Riverhead Republican Committee’s longtime vice chairman has had to resign from both that position and the Republican committee itself as a result of a new job he’s taken.

George Harkin, who has been a committee member or alternate member for at least 16 years and has been vice chairman of the committee for more than five years, submitted his resignation last week after taking a position in the state attorney general’s office.

“I took a new job in the attorney general’s office and there is a prohibition about being on a political party committee,” he said.

In his previous job as a principal law assistant for a state Court of Claims judge, he could not be chairman of a political committee, but he could serve on the committee and as vice chair.

Asked if he would still be able to work behind the scenes, but not as a committee member, Mr. Harkin said, “There are certain things you can do within the bounds of the job, because you still have rights as a citizen. As long as I stay in those bounds I will be OK, but I can’t be a committeeman or an officer of a party.”

“This is big loss,” said Republican committee chairman John Galla. “There’s no question, George’s talents and experience were second to none. I relied heavily on George.”

Mr. Galla said that, traditionally, the committee chair picks the vice chair, so Mr. Galla is searching for a new vice chair.

He said the position will probably be filled at the committee’s next meeting sometime in mid-April.

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