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Kent to oppose Aguiar for Town Supervisor

Riverhead Town Councilwoman Catherine Kent is the Democratic nominee for town supervisor, her party announced in a press release Tuesday night.

Ms. Kent, a first-term councilwoman and retired Riverhead school teacher, will top a Democratic ticket that will not include retiring Highway Superintendent George “Gio” Woodson.

Ms. Kent, 64, will challenge Republican incumbent Yvette Aguiar, who is seeking her second two-year term after she was nominated by her party Monday

At its convention, which was closed to the public, the Democrats also nominated Evelyn Hobson-Womack and Juan Micieli Martinez for council and William “JR” Renten for highway superintendent.

Ms. Kent, a Baiting Hollow resident, will have to give up her council seat in order to run for supervisor. She was elected to the four-year council term in 2017. She previously taught for 31 years in the Riverhead Central School District.

She is the only Democrat on the Town Board and has been at frequent odds with Ms. Aguiar, accusing the supervisor of trying to limit her voice on the board.

Ms. Hobson-Womack, 55, of Riverhead, is a town police detective who has been in the department for 28 years. She is planning to retire this year.

Ms. Hobson-Womack is the only woman in the detective unit of the town police since her appointment in the 1990s. She also has served in the U.S. Army.  She has been a mentor to the town Youth Court for many years.

Mr. Micieli-Martinez, 43, of Riverhead, is a longtime resident of Riverhead who has worked as a winemaker. In a press release, the Democrats touted his strong ties to “farming, agriculture and the community at large.” For a decade, he was the winemaker at Martha Clara Vineyards.

Ms. Hobson-Womack and Mr. Micieli-Martinez will challenge Republican nominees will challenge recently appointed incumbent Ken Rothwell and Riverhead Chamber of Commerce president Bob Kern for the council seats.

Mr. Renten, 59, of Aquebogue, is a heavy equipment operator in the town highway department, where he has worked for 11 years. He also has worked in the town water district. He is a Navy veteran and a volunteer in the Riverhead Fire Department since 1986. He is currently a third assistant chief. 

He will be opposed by another highway department worker, Mike Zaleski, who was nominated by the Republicans Monday and is the deputy highway department superintendent. 

For the two assessor seats up for election, Democrats nominated Tara Taylor, 40, and Ellen Hoil, 55, both of Riverhead. 

Ms. Hoil is an attorney with experience in both regulatory and corporate law as well as corporate property valuation in regards to mergers and acquisitions, according to a Democratic committee release.

Ms. Taylor, who previously ran for assessor two years ago, “has a wide-ranging background in accounting and finance areas,” according to a Democratic committee release. Republicans are running longtime incumbent Laverne Tennenberg and newcomer Dana Brown. Incumbent Mason Haas is retiring. 

Democrats held their nominating committee by Zoom, out of concern for the COVID-19 pandemic. They did not allow the press or public to view the Zoom and sent out a press release announcing their candidates.