GOP screens candidates; new Dem emerges

Wooten and Walter for supervisor
BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | Supervisor Sean Walter and Councilman James Wooten in Mr. Walter’s law offices in Wading River in April 2011.

There were no surprises at the Riverhead Republican Committee’s screening for town candidates Wednesday night, party officials said.

“Nobody else came forward,” said committee chairman John Galla. “It was the same names we had previously said would screen.”

Those names would be incumbent Supervisor Sean Walter for supervisor, being challenged by incumbent Councilman James Wooten and incumbent town assessor Mason Haas.

For Town Council, incumbents John Dunleavy and Jodi Giglio are being challenged by Anthony Coates, who has been an advisor to Mr. Walter.

One other Town Board candidate, Greg Fischer of Calverton, said he wanted to screen for council and supervisor.

Mr. Fischer said he also planned to screen for supervisor or council with the Democrats.

Democratic chairwoman Marge Acevedo told the News-Review this week that, so far, her committee was planning to screen three candidates for supervisor and three for the two council seats.

It’s the committee’s policy to not identify candidates publicly, although the candidates are free to do so themselves.

So far, Angela DeVito and Ann Cotton-DeGrasse have come forward for the supervisor nod.

For council, Glenn Friedman of South Jamesport, a retired marketing executive who worked for a Gannett-owned publication called Clipper Magazine, has indicated he planned to screen with the Democrats as well.

Mr. Friedman said he has a background as a marketing and sales executive, as well as a background as a reporter for Long Island Business News.

He also worked as a consultant for Brookhaven Town’s Economic Development Commission many years ago.

“I feel I can bring a lot of experience to this town,” Mr. Friedman said. “I don’t have a great opinion of this Town Board.

Mr. Friedman worked for The Record newspaper of Port Jefferson at a time when Mr. Coates was its publisher and the paper was owned by John McNamara, he said.

The only other town positions up for election this fall are the assessor position held by Republican Laverne Tennenburg, who faces no opposition for the GOP nod, and highway superintendent, where Mike Panchak, owner of Eagle Asphalt Maintenance, screened for the Republican nomination.

Mr. Panchak said Thursday he believes he has the background and experience to run the department.

No date has been set yet for the Republican nominating convention, Mr. Galla said, though it’s usually held in May.

The one incumbent on the Democratic line that will be up for reelection this fall is highway superintendent George “Gio” Woodson, who has held the job since 2008.

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