A few days ago, Anthony Coates was planning to screen for the Riverhead Democratic Committee nomination for supervisor and Angela DeVito wasn’t planning to run for any office at all this year.
Now, Ms. DeVito — who lost to incumbent Supervisor Sean Walter two years ago — is planning to screen for the Democratic nod for supervisor, and Mr. Coates says he’s no longer considering running for office.
But he says he’ll back Ms. DeVito for supervisor, instead of Republican incumbent Sean Walter, who had hired Mr. Coates as a campaign advisor in past years.
“This wasn’t so much about me being the candidate as it was about the fact that the town needs an effective leader,” Mr. Coates said. “When my name was floated about, there was no candidate for change out there.”
He believes that with Ms. DeVito now in the race, she represents the type of candidate Mr. Coates feels the town needs.
“When Angela came forward, I said, ‘there’s a candidate for change.”
Plus, Mr. Coates said he didn’t feel like he was going to get the nomination from the Democratic committee.
Ms. DeVito ran against Republican Supervisor Sean Walter in 2013 and lost by a 55 to 44 percent margin.
But Mr. Coates says there are plenty of instances in history where a candidate lost a race and then won a rematch against the same candidate in a future race.
“The dynamics of this race are going to be very different,” he said.
For one thing, he said, there could be a three-person race if Republican Councilwoman Jodi Giglio wins the Republican supervisor primary against Mr. Walter, since Mr. Walter will likely remain on the ballot as a Conservative.
The Democrats are also screening Glenn Friedman of Jamesport for supervisor.
Ms. DeVito couldn’t be reached for comment.