Riverhead Democrats announce candidates for fall election

The Riverhead Democratic committee has unveiled its candidates for town offices.

Heading the ticket, and making her second run for supervisor, is Angela DeVito of South Jamesport.

Running for the two town council seats up for election this fall are Rene Suprina and Andrew Leven, both from Riverhead.

The Democrats also nominated Josephine Makowski of Wading River for town clerk, and are cross endorsing incumbent Town Justice Lori Hulse, 56, of Riverhead, who was nominated by the Republican Committee on Feb. 20.

• Ms. DeVito, 75, is making her second run for town Supervisor. In 2013, she lost the election to then-incumbent Sean Walter.

She has a bachelor’s degree in physical anthropology from Columbia University, and master of science and public health from the University of Utah School of Medicine.

Ms. DeVito works with the state Department of Labor, helping to prepare and place job applicants.

She has served in several elected or appointed positions over the years, such as the Riverhead Board of Education and the town Industrial Development Agency. She’s also been president of the Jamesport-South Jamesport Civic Association.

“Good government makes our lives, [and] our communities better,” Ms. DeVito said in a statement. “But in the absence of good leadership, our path forward and the legacy we leave our children gets off track. I see my candidacy as an opportunity to bring responsible and effective leadership back to Town Hall.”

• Ms. Suprina, 61, has worked for the Southold School District for more than 21 years and has been the district’s music coordinator for more than 13 years.

She “has multiple SUNY degrees in arts and administration and currently holds a number of positions including educational director, organization president and statewide representative,” according to a press release.

Ms. Suprina, who has a son in high school, said in the release: “all these skills combine to point to serving on the Riverhead Town Board well.

“Having held many leadership positions, I feel my strongest skill is bringing diverse groups together to make unified decisions that benefit all stakeholders,” Ms. Suprina said.

• Mr. Leven, 63, is an attorney and has been a career federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s office. He currently works as defense counsel with focus on regulatory and securities fraud. He works in the law firm of Dilworth Paxson LLP, which is headquartered in Princeton, New Jersey.

The Democrats’ release refers to him as a having “recently joined the Riverhead community.” Records show that he bought a home in Riverhead last year.

Mr. Leven said he “sees a dire need for a Town Board with greater regard for law, for what the public is asking for, for smart planning and for a greater awareness of how bad decisions made today will do irreparable damage to Riverhead and its residents,” the release says.

“This town has the bones of being something really special,” Mr. Leven said.

“But without a government looking to work for what’s best, the assets will continue to dwindle until there is nothing left of real value.”

• Josephine Makowski, 61, of Wading River has bachelor’s degree in information technology and launched her career as a program analyst, where she has honed her skills in record management, leadership, organization, problem resolution, and efficiency.

In a press release, the Democratic Committee said Ms. Makowski’s resume “attests to her being uniquely qualified to serve as town clerk.”

“My family has a long history here and I want what’s best in Riverhead,” Ms. Makowski said in a statement. “What I believe is best is a non-partisan leadership team, that will work together, listen to the public and keep them informed. My part will be to make sure that residents get timely information on all matters that involve them.”

The release issued by Democratic chairperson Laura Jens-Smith said: “In deciding to put the good of the town over small town politics, the Riverhead Democrats made the bold decision not to challenge those incumbents who are serving our town well, instead focusing only on the positions in need of strong, dedicated candidates who will put Riverhead’s residents and future first.”

In addition to cross endorsing incumbent Republican Town Justice Lori Hulse, the Democrats also did not nominate any candidates for three assessor positions — currently held by incumbent Republicans Laverne Tennenberg, Meredith Lipinsky, and Dana Brown — and for tax receiver, held by Republican Laurie Zaneski.

Incumbent Town Clerk Diane Wilhelm, who is currently the only Democrat in elected office, is not seeking reelection.

The Republicans are running former Town Councilman Jim Wooten for town clerk.

Incumbent Republican Supervisor Yvette Aguiar opted not to seek reelection, and the Republicans have nominated Councilman Tim Hubbard to run for supervisor, while choosing Planning Board chair Joann Waski of Jamesport and attorney Denise Merrifield of Wading River for council.