Anthony Coates, a former political adviser to Supervisor Sean Walter — who is up for re-election this fall — has been noncommittal on whether or not he’ll run for public office since the two have stopped working together.
And while Mr. Coates is still hesitating to commit to running for a Town Board position again (he failed to receive a Republican nomination for Town Board in 2013), he did say he’ll be screening for the Democratic nomination for supervisor to “explore the possibility of running.”
He started re-assessing whether or not he would run after Mr. Walter’s recent State of the Town speech, he said.
That, coupled with the recent announcements that Pataki-Cahill backed out of a potential deal with the town and Moody’s downgraded Riverhead bond rating this week led him to a decision to sit down with the Democrats.
He also sees a lack of serious contenders, he said.
“Somebody’s gotta get into this race who will actually stand as an agent for change,” he said Thursday. “As much as it pains me to say it, Sean [Walter] is completely going in the wrong direction, and Councilwoman Giglio is the only other option, and she’s been a part of the same administration.”
In addition to Mr. Coates, retired Riverhead Det. Tim Hubbard is expected to screen with town Democratic Committee — both for supervisor and council — next Monday.
Mr. Hubbard is also screening for town council with the Republicans.
Mr. Walter said on Thursday that he has not spoken to Mr. Coates since Thanksgiving, and called the announcement “an interesting turn of events.”
“I’m going to run on my record,” said Mr. Walter. “I hope that people see that things are moving forward in the town and I’ll be re-elected in November.”
Prior to his run for Town Board, Mr. Coates served as a political consultant for Mr. Walter largely from mid-2010 through mid-2012, receiving nearly $30,000 from the supervisor’s campaign funds, according to campaign finance disclosure forms. He last received money from the campaign in February 2014, when he was paid $500.
Mr. Walter said rumors have abounded that the two are actually working together to set up a run against each other.
He denied those rumors.
“There are those in Republican circles who believe that Mr. Coates and I have orchestrated this, but I can assure the residents we have not,” he said.
Mr. Coates, meanwhile, compared the supervisor’s recent administration to a dance fail.
“The supervisor has choreographed the dance, and all the principal players are walking away from the stage,” Mr. Coates said. “It indicated we are clearly going in the wrong direction.”