Independence Party Taps Gruber for East Hampton Supervisor

David Gruber addresses the East Hampton Town Board. Peter Boody photo

The East Hampton Independence Party last week nominated former town Democratic leader and party guru David Gruber to run for town supervisor against Democratic incumbent Peter Van Scoyoc and Republican challenger Richard Myers.

A veteran player on the town’s Democratic Committee who broke ranks last year to help establish a caucus called the Reform Democrats, Mr. Gruber lost a primary election last September to the Democratic nominee for Town Board, incumbent David Lys.

Mr. Guber said on Tuesday he is again challenging the Democratic committee, this time seeking to mount a primary to knock Mr. Van Scoyoc off the ticket in the race for supervisor.

Mr. Gruber’s name was not on the list of candidates released last week by the Reform Democrats, who announced what they called a fusion ticket of Republicans and Democrats for all town races except supervisor.

Except in the supervisor’s race, three political groups — the Independence Party, the Reform Democrats and the town’s Republican Committee — all cross-endorsed the same slate to do battle with the Democratic line-up.

Asked why Mr. Gruber was not crowned as the head of her ticket, Reform Party founder Rona Klopman said only, “We’re going to discuss that at a later date with our party.”

Mr. Gruber wrote in an email, “Rona is correct. The focus the past two weeks has been on pulling together a fusion ticket. The Reform Dems have to decide whether to make an endorsement in the supervisor’s race because I am primarying in the Democratic party in addition to having the Independence party endorsement. So there are currently three supervisor candidates. The Reform Democrats have to decide whether and whom to endorse. That decision should come next week. I think it is prudent to give that a bit more thought.”

The Reform Democrats, the Independence Party and the Republican committee have all endorsed: for Town Board, Democrat Bonnie Brady and Betsy Bambrick, who is not registered with a party; for town justice, Republican incumbent Lisa Rana; for highway superintendent, incumbent Democrat Steven Lynch; for assessor, incumbent Democrat Jeanne Nielson and incumbent Republican Jill Massa; and for Town Trustee incumbent Democrats Rick Drew and Dell Cullum; incumbent Republicans Susan Vorpahl and Jim Grimes; three Republican challengers, Dave Talmage, Mike Havens and Fallon Ecker-Bloecker Nigro; and two Democratic challengers, Rona Klopman and Stephen Lester.