April 25, 2007
East Hampton GOP Ready To Do Battle
The East Hampton Republican Committee fleshed out their slate with two names well known on the local political scene last Thursday night. The Republican committee endorsed local committee chair Bill Gardiner and long time Sag Harbor Village Board Trustee Brian Gilbride as candidates for town board.
The pair will campaign with Montauk resident Bill Wilkinson who's got his eye on the big chair. Though hardly a household name in town hall, Wilkinson brings a prodigious level of professional executive experience to the race.
Gardiner turned the reins over to the Honorable John Behan for the nominating convention at the Maidstone Arms in East Hampton Village. Three contenders hoped for the chance to run for town board on the GOP ticket. In the final vote, Gardiner and Gilbride prevailed. Bill Mott, a town trustee and clerk of the trustees, came in third. "I hope Bill Mott will consider running for the board in 2009. He was a fine trustee clerk and is an excellent Town Trustee," Gardiner said following the meeting.
Both candidates bring a wealth of experience to the race. This is Gardiner's third time trying for a spot on the town board. Acknowledging other runs, he pointed to past elected officials John Bistrian and Eamon McDonough who gave credence to the old saw 'three times the charm.'
While new to the town political scene Gilbride has served seven terms on the Sag Harbor Village Board. In a release following the convention, he described himself as a Sag Harbor native, a working man, and lifelong Republican, as well as a team player who works hard in campaigns and is "willing to stand up for the people."
At the conclusion of the nominating convention, Gardiner, an East Hampton Village resident, noted, "We have candidates from Montauk to Sag Harbor who really want to bring back [the] two party government for the people of East Hampton." Other candidates nominated last week include incumbents town justice Lisa Rana and assessor Jill Massa, plus Steve Lynch, who will run for highway superintendent. The GOP will screen candidates for Trustee next month.
Town Democrats hold their nominating convention later in May. Co-chair Bill Taylor this week noted that several "very interesting" hopefuls have contacted him in order to screen for just the one slot open at the top of the Democratic ticket. Supervisor Bill McGintee running for a third term and Councilman Pete Hammerle going for a fourth leave room for just one place on the town board ticket.
Taylor said that overall, "We're looking forward to the campaign. Hopefully, we'll keep it on a high moral ground."