State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle and State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. are making rounds on the East End again to gain support for another two years in office.
Two years ago, both incumbents ran unopposed, but this year there will be more names on the ballot. So far, however, none of their opponents have come forward to challenge them to a debate or other public discussion.
Republican Heather Collins, a Southampton resident who works for the Suffolk County Board of Elections, and Sag Harbor Attorney Brian DeSesa, under the Conservative ticket, are running against Mr. Thiele, an Independence Party member. Neither Mr. DeSesa or Ms. Collins has responded to debate invitations or calls for comment from the Press.
Michael Conroy, a Democrat from Manorville who is a member of both the Suffolk County Democratic Committee and the Brookhaven Town Democratic Committee, is seeking the seat Mr. LaValle has held as a Republican for 38 years. Mr. Conroy has not responded to debate invitations or calls for comment either.
“I haven’t seen hide nor hair of them,” Mr. Thiele said of his opponents.
Both incumbents will hit many of the same events this month. Next week, on Sunday, October 19, from 1 to 3 p.m., both Mr. Thiele and Mr. LaValle will attend a Concerned Citizens of Montauk meet the candidates forum at the Montauk Firehouse. Candidates will have an opportunity to introduce themselves, state their positions and ask a question of their opponent or opponents. There will also be opportunities for the public to ask them questions. The event will be broadcast on LTV.
The Hampton Bays Civic Association will host a candidates night on Monday, October 20, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Southampton Town Community Center on Ponquogue Avenue. Mr. Thiele, Mr. LaValle and candidates for Suffolk County comptroller—Democrat James Gaughran and Republican John Kennedy—will be present to take questions from the public.
The League of Women Voters of the Hamptons had been tentatively scheduling a debate for the state races for October 27, but had to cancel since none of the new candidates responded.
Mr. LaValle and Mr. Thiele plan to do a joint mailing in Southampton and East Hampton towns before November 4.
“It’s a little unusual because we’re not members of the same party, but we have a great working relationship,” Mr. Thiele said. “I can’t speak to the opposition, but we’re going to be very active during October.”
The Southampton Town Democratic Committee unanimously reelected Gordon Herr as its chairman at an organizational meeting on Tuesday, October 7, at the Southampton Publick House.
“I have an outstanding committee, comprising the best and brightest organized team of volunteer members,” Mr. Herr said in his acceptance speech. “It is their efforts that have led to our steady and consistent growth over the last 10 years, allowing the party to evolve into a vital challenger, with great credibility, taken very seriously by voters across the spectrum.”
Also elected were Mackie Finnerty, first vice chair; Joy Flynn, second vice chair; George Lynch, treasurer; and Hank Beck, secretary.