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Jun 25, 2019 11:45 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Strong Beats Rana In East Hampton Justice Battle; Reform Democrats Fall Short In Bids For Trustees

Andrew Strong Kyril Bromley
Jul 2, 2019 10:47 AM

Political newcomer Andrew Strong held off a challenge in last week’s Democratic primary by veteran East Hampton Town Justice Lisa Rana, a registered Republican.

Mr. Strong cruised to a broad victory on Tuesday, June 25, but he will have to face Ms. Rana again in the general election in the fall, with more than only the town’s Democratic faithful casting ballots.

Mr. Strong, an attorney who lives in Springs, won the Democratic nomination by a broad margin, 986-394, after Ms. Rana mounted an unorthodox cross-party challenge in an attempt to eliminate Mr. Strong from the race and leave herself with both major party lines and unopposed in the general election.

The veteran town justice had screened to be cross-endorsed by the Democrats, as she has been in two previous re-election bids, but the committee chose to endorse the newcomer Mr. Strong, who works for the Latino advocacy group Organización Latino-Americana, or OLA.

“I feel sincerely thankful to all the voters who came out and supported me in the rain last Tuesday,” Mr. Strong said. “I have great respect for my opponent in this race, and I am especially proud to have been tested by her in the primary and to come through it with this positive result.”

The East Hampton Democratic Committee’s nine chosen candidates for East Hampton Town Trustees—including incumbent Trustee James Grimes, a Republican—also skated to easy wins over three challengers endorsed by the Democratic faction calling itself the Reform Democrats in last week’s vote.

Incumbent Trustee Susan McGraw-Keber was the top vote-getter in her first reelection bid, earning one of the nine nominations, along with incumbent Trustees Bill Taylor, John Aldred, Rick Drew, Francis Bock and Mr. Grimes. Newcomers Ben Dollinger, Mike Martinsen and Tim Garneau also won spots on the ticket.

The three Reform Democrat challengers—Rona Klopman, Dell Cullum and Stephen Lester—still will be candidates on the fall ballot, on the Independence Party line, along with a mixed slate of Republican and Democratic candidates for town supervisor, Town Board and other town offices.

Southampton Town had a busy primary vote day as well, with nominations in three parties on the ballot.

Southampton Town Highway Superintendent Alex Gregor appeared poised to force a three-way race for Southampton Town supervisor in November, appearing to wrest the Independence Party line away from incumbent Supervisor Jay Schneiderman in the party primary vote.

Mr. Gregor leads the primary tally with 85 votes, to Mr. Schneiderman’s 78. There are still at least 12 absentee ballots left to be counted, but Mr. Schneiderman, a registered Democrat, would need to capture at least 10 of 12 to close the gap with Mr. Gregor, who is registered with the Independence Party.

If Mr. Gregor, who is in the middle of his third term as highway superintendent, holds on to the party nomination, he will face Mr. Schneiderman on the Democratic line and Greg Robbins, the Republican nominee, in November.

In a Democratic primary race for the five Southampton Town Trustees nominations available, former Trustee Fred Havemeyer won a slot on the Democratic ticket for this year’s elections, along with incumbent Trustees Ann Welker and Bill Pell, and Democratic nominees David Mayer and Andrew Brosnan.

Former Trustee Eric Shultz, who spent more than 40 years on town regulatory boards before stepping down in 2017 fell short in his own bid to get back on the Democratic ticket this year.

In other races, Southampton Town Tax Receiver Theresa Kiernan, a Republican, won the Independence Party line over her Democratic challenger, Gordon Herr.

In a Working Families Party primary that featured only one name on the ballot, Councilman John Bouvier, but two slots on the tiny party’s ticket up for grabs, the winner of the other ballot spot will not be known until the names on 26 write-in ballots submitted are announced by the Suffolk County Board of Elections.

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So only 160 people voted? Am I reading this right?
By CaptainSig (716), Dutch Harbor on Jun 26, 19 6:31 AM
Apparently Gregor has more relatives than Schneiderman. Meaningless event.
By CPalmer (122), Southampton on Jun 26, 19 6:36 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By themarlinspike (542), Northern Hemisphere on Jun 26, 19 7:22 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By themarlinspike (542), Northern Hemisphere on Jun 26, 19 10:02 AM
You must be a member of that Party to vote.
By tenn tom (259), remsenburg on Jun 26, 19 6:56 AM
1 member liked this comment
Only trustees were on my ballot. No supervisors or any other positions. ??
By bambi (76), bridgehampton on Jun 26, 19 8:01 AM
Well done Mr Gregor you will shake up Town Hall when you are Supervisor there will be many early retirements
By watchdog1 (543), Southampton on Jun 28, 19 5:20 PM
Alex Gregor is a spoiler in this contest, no more and no less. Free speech and open elections are undeniably vital, but in the end, the race for Southampton supervisor in November will turn on whether Gregor takes more votes away from Republican Greg Robins or Democrat Jay Schneiderman. That’s the definition of a spoiler.

Anyone who watched Gregor’s pompous, preening performance in his recent debate with Jay Schneiderman knows that this isn’t about free speech or open ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Jun 30, 19 10:06 AM
1 member liked this comment