Registered Republicans in East Hampton Town will have a chance next week to cast write-in ballots for their choice to carry the party banner in the race for town supervisor this fall, though the field is wide open.
The primary will be Tuesday, September 10, with polls closing at 9 p.m.
The winner will presumably earn a spot on the GOP ballot in November to challenge Larry Cantwell, the Democratic candidate with cross-endorsements from the Independence and Working Families parties.
In response to a push by some Republicans to pencil in Mr. Cantwell’s name, the Democrat last week announced that he would decline a GOP nod, saying he believes the town is better served when there is more than one candidate for supervisor.
This week, the town’s Republican Party leaders, Chairman Kurt Kappel and Vice Chairman Tom Knobel, were at a loss to name any potential winners, but expressed confidence that whoever wins will have ample time to wage a competitive campaign against Mr. Cantwell, who has been on the campaign trail for months.
“This is pretty much wide open,” Mr. Kappel said on Tuesday. He reiterated how odd he thinks Mr. Cantwell’s rejection of a Republican endorsement is, given that there are many cross-endorsements this year.
“One leader doesn’t want it. That doesn’t mean he’ll get it,” said Mr. Knobel. “I haven’t heard anyone put forth an ad or a letter saying, ‘I desire it.’”
The GOP missed a petition deadline with the Suffolk County Board of Elections earlier this summer to get a name on the ballot for supervisor and, in a last-ditch attempt to field a candidate, instead filed a petition to hold this write-in primary.
Former Supervisor Jay Schneiderman turned down the GOP nomination earlier this year, opting instead to seek reelection as a county legislator.