County Denies Republicans Cross-Endorsement

In a tersely worded statement issued Tuesday afternoon, the East Hampton Town Republican Committee announced that it was unable to secure the necessary authorizations from county leadership allowing candidates who are not registered Republicans to appear on the Republican Party ballot in the Nov. 5 election. As a result, two of the committee's candidates for town board, Bonnie Brady, a registered Democrat, and Betsy Bambrick, who is unaffiliated with a political party, will not be on the Republican line.

Those candidates and others endorsed by the Republicans but not registered with the party will, however, appear on the Independence and Conservative Party lines. 

David Gruber, who screened for the G.O.P. endorsement for supervisor at the committee's April 10 meeting, will also be left off the Republican Party ballot. He was the lone candidate to screen that night, after Richard Myers, the committee's initial nominee for supervisor, decided not to run.

According to the Republicans' statement, efforts to secure "Wilson Pakula documents" -- authorization given by a political party to a candidate not registered with that party allowing him or her to run as its candidate -- were unsuccessful. Kyle Ballou, the Republican committee's secretary, said Tuesday that "everything was issued but there was not enough time." Both he and Manny Vilar, the committee's chairman, who is in Albany, would have had to sign documents which were to have been notarized and delivered to the Suffolk County Board of Elections by Tuesday's 5 p.m. deadline.

Wilson Pakula authorizations would have had to be issued by Jesse Garcia, who was elected the county Republican chairman last week. "The county chairman would not sign it," Mr. Ballou said. "I don't know why." 

"We still fully stand behind the candidates — the other Democrats we've been working with on the trustee lines and other lines," Mr. Ballou said. "We'll continue to work with them and gain some ground in November." 

Mr. Gruber, who leads the East Hampton Reform Democrats, which he describes as a "caucus within the Democratic Party," has the East Hampton Independence Party's endorsement for supervisor. He said he had hoped that Mr. Garcia would issue the Wilson-Pakula, as Mr. Vilar had requested. 

On Tuesday, he could not say "whether this represents a foul-up on somebody's part, a refusal of the committee at the county level to issue a Wilson Pakula, or even a backroom deal with Democrats and Republicans at the county level." 

The April 10 meeting with members of the Republican committee "went fine," and he said on Tuesday that he'd won their endorsement, though Mr. Ballou would not confirm that, nor would he comment on Mr. Gruber's potential candidacy on the G.O.P. line. "They gave me a substitution certificate, which I filed on Friday," Mr. Gruber said. "The last piece of the puzzle was the Wilson Pakula."

In an hours-long interview and airing of positions on multiple issues at the April 10 meeting, Mr. Gruber, a former chairman of the East Hampton Town Democratic Committee and its 2001 candidate for supervisor, accused the present town board of "rampant cronyism" and, possibly, "genuine corruption." 

"I helped create a monster, this Democratic machine monopoly," he told the gathering of committee members.

The screening followed internal deliberations in which Republicans grappled with a Hobson's Choice: endorse a candidate of whom some were suspicious or skeptical, or endorse no one. 

"I think the response of the local Republican Party was everything I could have hoped for," Mr. Gruber said. "But they're not running the county. They can't control that. That's how the system is set up. We all have to work within the often arcane rules in New York State election law, which are basically designed to make it as difficult as possible to get on a ballot." 

In East Hampton, he said that "the allies on the 'fusion' ticket -- Republican, Independence, and Reform Democrats" — were aligned, and had the same goals.

Mr. Gruber will face Mr. Van Scoyoc, who is serving his first term as supervisor. Ms. Brady and Ms. Bambrick will face Councilwoman Sylvia Overby and Councilman David Lys. Mr. Van Scoyoc, Ms. Overby, and Mr. Lys are three of the five Democrats on the town board. The other two, Kathee Burke-Gonzalez and Jeff Bragman, are not up for re-election this year. 

Democrats vastly outnumber their rival political parties in East Hampton in terms of voter registration. Tuesday's announcement put a damper on hopes for electoral success with a fusion ticket, which Republican, Independence, and Reform Democrat officials had hoped would create a winning combination against the Democrats.

"Though disappointed, the East Hampton Town Republican Committee is not deterred in its efforts to reach across party lines," the committee's statement said, "so that East Hampton Town voters have the broadest choice in selecting those who wish to serve our community first." The committee "fully supports the assembled fusion ticket and has worked diligently on and pledges to support each candidate on that assembled fusion ticket whether they appear on the Republican line or not."