Riverhead Town councilwoman Jodi Giglio has her sights aimed at the supervisor seat.
Ms. Giglio, who told The News Review in January she was “considering screening” for the position, said she will indeed screen for the supervisor seat currently held by fellow Republican Sean Walter.
Ms. Giglio, whose council seat is not up for reelection this fall, held a campaign fundraiser Tuesday night, and announced her intentions in a WRIV radio interview this morning.
“I just think that the top seat needs a new set of eyes,” Ms. Giglio said in a follow-up interview with the News-Review. “We’ll see what the Republican committee thinks. I think you need someone with business experience to bring the town together. We have a lot of challenges and opportunities ahead for Riverhead, and right now, the challenges seem to be outweighing the opportunities.”
Mr. Walter said he’s looking forward to a “spirited race.”
“I’m going to take the decision to the voters in Riverhead and I’m confident my record of the last five years speaks for itself,” he said. “I’ll put my record against the councilwoman’s record every day.”
Mr. Walter said he’s already ordered campaign material and plans to begin walking door-to-door once the weather gets warmer. He said he has a campaign fundraiser scheduled for March 19.
The most recent campaign finance reports with the state Board of Election are from Jan. 15, 2015 and show Ms. Giglio with a $6,438 closing balance as of that date (which would not include last night’s fundraiser), and Mr. Walter with a $17,808 closing balance.
However, Ms. Giglio’s campaign had raised $23,035 and spent $17,038 since the July 15, 2014 filings. Mr. Walter has only raised $425 and spent $1,234 since his last filing in 2014.
The supervisor, who said he has a campaign goal of $75,000 to $100,000, said he will run a primary if he’s not selected by the Republican committee.
“The fate of the supervisor’s election will rest with the voters of Riverhead,” he said.
The Republicans will screen candidates for all positions and have set a Feb. 20 deadline for people interested to submit their resumes.
Republican committee vice chairman Vic Prusinowski, who is heading the committee’s screening committee, said he has heard verbally that other candidates are interested in screening for Town Board seats, but hasn’t received anything in writing yet.
He said he expects to screen at least five people for the town justice position being vacated by incumbent Richard Ehlers, who is not seeking reelection.
Republican chairman Mason Haas is not involved in the screening process since he will have to screen for reelection to his assessor’s position.
Mr. Haas did indicate that he is not planning to screen for supervisor himself, as he did in the last town election. Councilman Jim Wooten, who also has screened for supervisor in the past, also said he is not screening for supervisor this year.
Mr. Wooten and Republican Councilman George Gabrielsen are up for reelection to their council seats this fall. The current Town Board members are all Republicans.