Circuitous Campaign Coming

Well, well. If nothing else, the 2019 campaign season will be lively. Thank the East Hampton Town Republican Committee for stirring things up with an announcement this week of its candidates for town board, supervisor, and trustees. The top of the ticket has Richard P. Myers Jr. seeking the supervisor’s seat. The hard-nosed Mr. Myers runs a luxury travel service and is the chairman of the town’s architectural review board and former chairman of the Wainscott Citizens Advisory Committee. He has been an effective advocate for Wainscott over the years. For at least 20 years, he has contributed to local Democratic Party campaigns, often from his Park Avenue address, and he even gave money to Peter Van Scoyoc’s race for East Hampton Town supervisor in 2017, when he was facing the man now head of Mr. Myers’s party, Manny Vilar. 

Bonnie Brady of Montauk, the fireball director of the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association who has become an outspoken opponent of offshore wind farm development, will run on the Republican ticket for town board. Ms. Brady’s sole political contribution that we know of went to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo last year. She will be joined on the ticket by Betsy Bambrick, a retired town animal control officer who finished her career as head of the Ordinance Enforcement Department during a period of upheaval in which a subordinate was fired for destroying paperwork about violations, and then lying about it.

Among the trustee candidates backed by the Republicans are Dell Cullum, a nuisance wildlife handler who ran as a Democrat two years ago, and Rona Klopman, a gadfly Amagansett resident who was a die-hard local Democrat until she was not.

The Democratic Committee has offered few surprises in its choices for November. The three incumbents whose terms are ending, Mr. Van Scoyoc, David Lys, and Sylvia Overby, are seeking re-election. For town justice, the committee has put forth Andrew Strong, a Springs resident who works as the in-house lawyer for Organizacion Latino-Americana of Eastern Long Island; his challenge to Justice Lisa R. Rana could prove the most interesting of the cycle, given his closeness to issues involving Spanish-speaking residents of the South Fork.

Critics of the current five-Democrat town board have complained about one-party rule, which seems an oversimplification. Councilman Jeff Bragman has differed from the general flow on more than a few occasions since he was elected, and Councilman David Lys, to us, seems about as apolitical as it gets. 

That said, outlooks from across the spectrum should be represented on the town board; we would like to see more Green Party-aligned candidates, for example, as well as fiscal and social conservatives. Instead, what the East Hampton Republican Party stands for at this point is murky. At best, its guiding principle might be boiled down to “none of the above.” The head-scratching choices for top-of-the-ballot local candidates have made its views even less clear to voters.

How longtime Democrats, like Ms. Brady and Ms. Klopman, square their politics with their new friends in the party of Trump is not at all obvious. And how Mr. Cullum and Mr. Drew, both of whom must consider themselves environmentalists, can sign on with the party responsible for the methodical dismantling of the Environmental Protection Agency and the abandonment of international climate agreements defies understanding. That any of the lot of them can countenance Mr. Trump’s racist, no-nothing piggery and lack of respect for the other branches of government is beyond belief. 

Try as they might to distance themselves from the president, he will be the baggage they carry into the election. As we said, November 2019 will be lively.