A Democratic Sweep in East Hampton Town

Councilman Peter Van Scoyoc, second from left, celebrated his supervisor win with fellow Democrats, Councilwoman Sylvia Overby, left, Councilwoman Kathee Burke-Gonzalez, and newly elected town board member Jeff Bragman, at Rowdy Hall in East Hampton Tuesday night. Durell Godfrey

Democrats in East Hampton Town have swept the races for town supervisor and town board, with Peter Van Scoyoc holding a decisive lead over his opponent, Manny Vilar, in the race for supervisor. His running mates, incumbent Councilwoman Kathee Burke-Gonzalez and Jeff Bragman, an attorney, were also at the top in their races for a seat on the town board, trailed throughout the night by the Republicans’ candidates, Paul A. Giardina and Gerard Larsen.

Mr. Van Scoyoc, who has been the deputy town supervisor under Larry Cantwell, is serving his second four-year term as a town councilman. His win on Tuesday means his seat will become vacant as of January. He said late last month that, should he win, he would want the town board to appoint someone to his seat until next November, when a special election could be held to fill out the remaining year of his term. As of January, all four members of the town board will be Democrats.

Mr. Van Scoyoc was on the town planning board for six years before taking office and on the zoning board of appeals for five years before that while running a residential construction company and charter fishing business.

Ms. Burke-Gonzalez was elected to her first term on the town board in 2013, and before that served nine years on the Springs School Board, two of them as its president. On the town board, she has been the point person on noise restrictions for East Hampton Airport and other airport matters, liaison to the town’s Human Services Department, disabilities advisory board, and Montauk Playhouse board of managers, and helped draft the town’s rental registry law.

Mr. Bragman has represented such groups as Save Sag Harbor and the Village Preservation Society and headed the Cedar Street Committee, which worked to stop an East Hampton School District bus depot on that street. He is a first-time candidate but is no stranger to the halls of local government, having been an assistant town attorney in East Hampton years ago and North Haven Village attorney. He has represented private clients before boards in East Hampton Town and Village, Sag Harbor, and Southampton Town. He also serves on the Community Preservation Fund Advisory Opinions Bureau.

All three Repubican candidates were running for the first time. Mr. Vilar is a first sergeant with the New York State Parks Police and the president of the Police Benevolent Association of New York State. Mr. Larsen officially retired in July as the East Hampton Village Police Chief, a post he had held for 13 years. And Mr. Giardina, a nuclear engineer, retired last year from a position with the Environmental Protection Agency.

With nearly all districts reporting, Mr. Van Scoyoc had over 60 percent of the vote, according to the board of elections website. Ms. Burke-Gonzalez was the top vote-getter in the town board race, with a nearly 15-point lead over her nearest Republican challenger, Mr. Giardina. Mr. Larsen was at the bottom of the pack.

Republicans also had a poor showing in the contest for nine seats on the East Hampton Town Trustees, the board that oversees most of the town’s bottomlands, beaches, and waterways on behalf of the public. Only two of their candidates – Jim Grimes, an incumbent, and Susan Vorpahl – won spots on the board, if unofficial results hold. Among those losing out is Diane McNally, a trustee for 27 years who had been the board’s clerk, or presiding officer, for many years. 

The apparent winners on the Democratic ticket were Francis Bock, at the top, Rick Drew, Dell Cullum, John Aldred, Bill Taylor, Brian Byrnes, and Susan McGraw Keber.

Francis J Bock (DEM, WOR) 3,783 7.89%
Richard P Drew II (DEM, WOR, IND) 3,400 7.09%
Dell R Cullum (DEM) 3,244 6.76%
John M Aldred (DEM, WOR, IND) 3,219 6.71%
Bill Taylor (DEM, WOR, IND) 3,147 6.56%
Brian Byrnes (DEM, WOR) 3,077 6.42%
Susan M Vorpahl (REP, CON, IND) 2,936 6.12%
James C Grimes (REP, CON) 2,837 5.92%
Susan McGraw Keber (DEM, WOR) 2,792 5.82%
Diane E Mc Nally (REP, CON, IND) 2,586 5.39%
Joseph Bloecker (REP, CON, IND) 2,561 5.34%
Rona S Klopman (DEM, WOR) 2,517 5.25%
Francesca Rheannon (DEM, WOR) 2,381 4.96%
Michael M Havens (REP, CON) 2,172 4.53%
Julie A Evans (REP, CON, IND, REF) 2,126 4.43%
Lyndsey M Hayes (REP, CON, IND) 1,871 3.90%
Gary A Cobb (REP, CON, IND) 1,816 3.79%
Willy J Wolter (REP, CON) 1,489 3.10%

East Hampton Town Trustee winners highlighted in yellow in results from the Suffolk Board of Elections.

The Republican candidate for town supervisor, Manny Vilar, right, leaned over a computer screen at Cittanuova in East Hampton Tuesday night to watch the results come in.Jackie Pape