Carole Campolo, the secretary of the East Hampton Town Republican Committee, has decided not to run for town supervisor after all, leaving the Republicans without a candidate to face off against Democratic and Independence Party nominee Larry Cantwell.
On Monday, Ms. Campolo announced her decision, saying that the Republican Committee is in need of an overhaul and that a “strong, effective and serious campaign also needs the support of an organized and focused political party.”
Ms. Campolo pointed to the “Schneiderman episode” that left the committee “stranded at the altar.” County Legislator Jay Schneiderman, a former supervisor, was initially selected by the party to be its standard-bearer, but a month after being nominated in February, he backed out.
Supervisor Bill Wilkinson had earlier refused to screen with the committee before announcing that he would not seek reelection.
“I think Bill Wilkinson is an incredible, terrific supervisor and there was no reason to go out as early as we did as a party to get a candidate—of course it backfired,” she said in a phone interview on Monday.
Kurt Kappel, the town Republican Committee’s chairman, disagreed with Ms. Campolo, and said the party has strong candidates in incumbent Dominick Stanzione and Town Clerk Fred Overton who are running for Town Board and Carl Irace who is running for town justice and Carole Brennan who is running for Mr. Overton’s current position.
“We did things in a timeframe that coincided with how we’ve done things in the last 10 years,” he said.
When asked why the committee has had a hard time finding a supervisor candidate, he said those who thought about running just don’t have the time and are not ready to retire from their careers, including Mr. Schneiderman.
He said the committee discussed the possibility of cross-endorsing Mr. Cantwell, but Mr. Cantwell declined the offer.
The committee will meet on Thursday to decide what to do next.