Hulse running primary for Republican town justice nod

Lori Hulse and Bob Kozakiewicz will be running a primary for the town justice nomination. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch file)
Lori Hulse and Bob Kozakiewicz will be running a primary for the town justice nomination. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch file)

Town council and supervisor aren’t the only positions involved in a Republican primary in this fall’s Riverhead Town elections.

The nomination for town justice, which is to fill the position being vacated by long-time incumbent Richard Ehlers, now has a primary too, as Lori Hulse is challenging party-designee Bob Kozakiewicz for the Republican nomination.

The Republican committee on May 26 nominated Mr. Kozakiewicz, 58, for the position in a three-way contest, as he beat out Mary Hartill and Ms. Hulse for the nod.

Ms. Hulse, 48, of Riverhead is a deputy town attorney in Southold Town and a member of the Riverhead Board of Education.

Like Mr. Kozakiewicz, she is a lifelong Riverhead resident.

Ms. Hulse is a registered Republican but also screened this year with the town Democratic committee for a justice nomination, losing that one to Jeanmarie Costello.

“I feel that I’m the most qualified candidate for the position and I want to leave it up to the voters to decide who they want as the next town justice,” Ms. Hulse said in explaining her decision to run a primary.

She said she had experience as a prosecutor in both town court and criminal court and has prosecuted all types of crimes, from violent felonies to town code violations.

Ms. Hulse said she also has managerial experience, as a former Deputy Chief in the Kings County District Attorney’s Office. She has worked in the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office in the Major Crime Bureau, in the state Attorney General’s Office, and in the Rochester Public Defender’s Office.

“I’ve worked every aspect of what you’d see in justice court,” she said.

She graduated from St. John’s University School of Law with a law degree in 1991, and is a former president of the Riverhead Board of Education.

Mr. Kozakiewicz could not be immediately reached for comment, but he is a familiar face in Riverhead Town government.

He has served as Town Attorney since 2011, and prior to that, he was Riverhead Town Supervisor from 2000 to 2003, and Town Attorney again from 1996 to 1997.

He also worked in private practice and as an assistant Suffolk County District Attorney and has a law degree from Albany Law School in 1983.