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September 04, 2013

She Told Two Friends, Then They Told Two Friends



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Kathee Burke-Gonzalez is asking her friends to tell their friends who'll tell their friends, and so on. In an effort to widen her name recognition, the Democratic candidate for East Hampton Town Board has launched a "Women for Kathee" committee.

The only woman running for town board out of the field of four hopefuls, Burke-Gonzalez opined women "work differently, we're really good listeners and tend to collaborate." Local party chair Jeanne Frankl noted Burke-Gonzalez was the one who came up with the idea of hosting community "listen-ins."

"She epitomizes everything we feel about today's woman," Frankl continued. "She does it all gracefully and well. She's very fair and she's very smart and she's very collaborative." Frankl reported Burke-Gonzalez has wanted to run for town board for years, but waited until her children were old enough. The party chair likened Women for Kathee to a circle of friends rallying around the candidate "because she's one of us."

As her campaign progressed, Burke-Gonzalez has had the chance to rub elbows with some of the state's heaviest female hitters. She met Senator Kristen Gilibrand at a fundraiser for her female-focused PAC "Off the Sidelines," declaring her "so inspirational."

Burke-Gonzalez furthered her acquaintance with former East Hampton Town Supervisor and State Democratic Committee Chair Judith Hope during a recent cocktail reception for Eleanor's Legacy, a group dedicated to fostering female candidates for public office. "I met a lot of dynamic women there," she recounted.

Grateful for the support she's received from both genders along the campaign trail so far, Burke-Gonzalez admitted, "One of the reasons I'm running, is for my girl. I want her to see her mother getting out of her comfort zone every day."

Burke-Gonzalez is running for town board with former town councilman Job Potter. They're facing off against incumbent Republican Dominick Stanzione and current Town Clerk Fred Overton, who are also running on the Independence Party line. Larry Cantwell, who is running for town supervisor with no opposition, tops the Democratic ticket.

kmerrill@indyeastend.com.

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