The Republican Party will not, in all likelihood, field an East Hampton Town supervisor candidate on Election Day, after a last-ditch attempt—a write-in primary last month—resulted in a win and subsequent declination by a candidate on the Democratic line.
The winner, Larry Cantwell, the Democratic candidate for East Hampton Town supervisor, who previously announced he would decline a Republican nomination, won the GOP write-in primary by a large margin, according to Suffolk County Board of Elections results released late last week.
He officially declined the nomination on Monday.
Mr. Cantwell, who is also cross-endorsed by the Independence and Working Families parties, received 35 votes out of 69 votes cast, or 50.72 percent, in the September 10 primary.
“I think the town is better served in an election where there’s more than one choice for supervisor,” Mr. Cantwell said prior to the primary, following efforts by some Republicans to get voters to pencil in his name. “If I’m the candidate that appears on every line, I think that undermines the voters’ ability to have a choice.”
Board of Elections Republican Commissioner Wayne Rogers was unavailable for comment this week, according to his office, whose employees could not explain the process for what would happen next. They could only confirm that Mr. Cantwell declined to accept the nomination.
“I suspect that we’re not going to fill the spot,” said the town’s Republican Committee vice chairman, Tom Knobel, this week. He noted that election law allows the party three days post-declination to submit a certificate of nomination, but in order for the committee to select a candidate, it would need to hold a meeting, which requires four days’ notice. “Basically, we don’t have time,” he said.
Committee Chairman Kurt Kappel did not return requests for comment this week.
Current Town Supervisor Bill Wilkinson, a Republican who opted not to seek reelection, finished second in the primary, with 13 votes, or 18.84 percent, but he has made it clear he would not run again.
Current Town Councilwoman Theresa Quigley, also a Republican, was third, earning three votes. She, too, has decided not to seek reelection. Town Clerk Fred Overton and Town Councilman Dominick Stanzione tied for fourth with 2 votes each.
Mr. Overton is not affiliated with a party, but is cross-endorsed by the Republican, Conservative and Independence parties in his campaign to become a town councilman, and Mr. Stanzione, a Republican incumbent, is seeking reelection as a councilman.
Fourteen people each received one vote: Len Bernard, Jay Schneiderman, Zachery Cohen, Steven Lynch, John Talmage, Bob Kauffman, Ed Deyermond, Paul Amaden, Dennis Bennett, Jerry Lane, Glenn Beck, John Courtney, Mark Dodd and Martin Drew.
“Obviously it’s disappointing not to have a candidate in the supervisor’s slot,” Mr. Knobel said.