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Jamesport civic leader now on ballot for Riverhead Town Council

08/19/2019 2:44 PM |

Add one name to the ballot for Riverhead Town Council this fall.  

William Van Helmond, president of the Greater Jamesport Civic Association, has received the endorsement of the Suffolk County Libertarian Party to run for Riverhead Town Council this year.  

To date, incumbent Tim Hubbard and challenger Frank Beyrodt are running on the Republican line and challengers Diane Tucci and Patricia Snyder are running on the Democrat line of the Nov. 5 ballot. The Democratic candidates have also received the Working Families and Independence Lines, while the Republicans will keep the Conservative line.

Because Libertarian party governor candidate Larry Sharpe received more than 50,000 votes in 2017, the party is on the ballot statewide, on Line 6.

Mr. Van Helmond said the Suffolk County Libertarian chairman Michael McDermott reached out to him to run.

“I screened with them, and they gave me the endorsement,” Mr. Van Helmond said. This is the first time the Suffolk County Libertarians have had an automatic spot on the ballot since being formed in 1971.

“I feel I can make a difference,” Mr. Van Helmond said of his candidacy. “One of their values that I really like is more civil liberties and less government involvement.

“I sometimes think the government gets so complex with so many entities at so many levels, that at times it gets very difficult to get things done.”

Despite this belief, Mr. Van Helmond said in his experience with the civic association and other groups he’s been involved with, he has been able to create unity among various levels of government.

According to the State Board of Elections, the Libertarian Party had 21 active registered voters in Riverhead Town as of February.

“The committee feels Mr. Van Helmond represents the values of the party, started in 1971, which are promoting civil liberties, non-interventionism and shrinking the size of government,” Mr. McDermott said in a statement.

Mr. Van Helmond screened for the Republican nomination for town council in 2017, but was instead chosen as the party’s highway superintendent candidate. He then withdrew for “personal reasons,” only to revive his campaign as a write-in candidate that November.

A 1981 graduate of Patchogue-Medford High School, and a Hampton Bays resident and business owner before moving to Jamesport, Mr. Van Helmond owns a landscaping business in Jamesport and has been involved in the North Fork Chamber of Commerce and the North Fork Promotional Council.

He said he plans to stay on board as civic association president until the board feels his candidacy presents a conflict of interest.

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