Democratic Primary Is On In East Hampton

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Councilman Jeff Bragman, far left, will challenge Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc, middle, for the Democratic nomination in a primary in June.

There will be a June primary for the East Hampton Town Board and East Hampton Town Trustees nominations, pitting three Democratic hopefuls against the 12 candidates endorsed by the East Hampton Town Democratic Party in February.

Councilman Jeff Bragman will seek to unseat Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc in a primary race and grab the top slot on the fall ticket, where one of the two men will face the Republican Party’s choice for the race, Ken Walles.

John Whelan will enter a now three-way race, with incumbent Councilwoman Kathee Burke-Gonzalez and Cate Rogers for the two Town Council seats that will also be on the November ballot. The two primary candidates who garner the most votes from Democratic voters in June will face Republican nominees George Aman and Joe Karpinski,

And three-term incumbent Trustee Rick Drew, who was passed over for endorsement for another term by the Democratic Committee in February, will ask Democratic voters to keep him on the party ticket in the fall.

The primary ballot will have 10 candidates for nine spots on the Trustees ticket: the nine incumbents, including Mr. Drew and cross-endorsed Republican Trustee James Grimes, and newcomer David Cataletto, whom the Democratic committee endorsed for its 2021 slate instead of Mr. Drew.

The East Hampton Town Republicans also filed petitions nominating nine candidates to run for Town Trustees, though Republican Committee Chairman Manny Vilar, who is one of the candidates, said the party still hopes to substitute other names for his own and that of fellow committee official Reggie Cornelia. He said the party hopes to have nine candidates on the fall ticket.

The three Democratic challengers, along with the committee’s nominees and the Republican candidates, all filed the requisite petitions supporting their candidacy with the Suffolk County Board of Elections this week.

Mr. Bragman, whose four-year term as councilman will end this year, said that he looks forward to the primary race as a health exercise for the party and for East Hampton voters.

“It’s good to give voters a choice,” he said.

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