Independence Party Picks Gruber for Supervisor

David Gruber, who the East Hampton Independence Party wanted to run for town councilman in 2018, is the party's choice for supervisor this year. Durell Godfrey

The East Hampton Independence Party has chosen David Gruber, who lost a primary Democratic challenge to Councilman David Lys last year, as its 2019 candidate for town supervisor, and Bonnie Brady and Betsy Bambrick, the Republicans' picks for town board, as its candidates for the two board seats on this year's ballot

The announcement follows the Independence Party's convention held on Friday and Saturday at Ashawagh Hall in Springs and comes on the heels of East Hampton's Democratic and Republican Committees' announcement of their respective candidates last month.

Mr. Gruber leads the East Hampton Reform Democrats, which he calls a caucus within the Democratic Committee. A former Democratic Committee chairman, he ran for supervisor in 2001.

Ms. Brady and Ms. Bambrick will challenge Councilwoman Sylvia Overby and Mr. Lys, both of whom are seeking re-election on the Democratic ticket. The Republican Committee nominated both Ms. Brady and Ms. Bambrick at its Feb. 23 convention. Ms. Brady is a registered Democrat, and Ms. Bambrick is unaffiliated with a political party, according to Elaine Jones, the Independence Party chairwoman.

The Independence Party selected nine candidates for town trustee. They are Susan Vorpahl and Jim Grimes, both incumbent Republicans; Dell Cullum and Rick Drew, incumbents who were elected as Democrats; David Talmage and Stephen Lester, both former trustees; Rona Klopman and Mike Havens, both former candidates for trustee; and Fallon Bloecker-Nigro, the daughter of a former trustee.

Both the Democratic and Republican Committees endorsed Mr. Grimes and Mr. Drew. Mr. Cullum, who did not receive the Democrats' endorsement, is running on the Republican ticket. Mr. Talmage is also on the Republican ticket, as is Ms. Klopman, who ran last year as a Democrat. She is affiliated with the Reform Democrats.

The Independence Party endorsed Lisa R. Rana, the longtime town justice, for re-election. She will also appear on the Republican ticket. Also getting the Independence Party's nod is Stephen Lynch, the longtime incumbent superintendent of highways, who has been cross-endorsed by the Republicans and Democrats.

Two longtime incumbent assessors, Jill Massa, a Republican, and Jeanne Nielsen, a Democrat, received the Independence, Democratic, and Republican nods.

Every member of the Independence Party's committee is opposed to the South Fork Wind Farm, a project initially proposed by Deepwater Wind, Elaine Jones, the party's chairwoman, told The Star on Monday. In a statement also issued on Monday, Ms. Jones said that, "We believe these candidates will fight for East Hampton against the Deepwater Wind project, not only to protect our fishermen but also for the hamlet of Wainscott and the upheaval that Deepwater will cause."

Deepwater Wind was renamed Orsted U.S. Offshore Wind after its fall 2018 acquisition by the Danish energy company Orsted. Commercial fishermen oppose the project, as do many residents of Wainscott, where Orsted plans to land the transmission cable for the 15-turbine installation.

"We also believe that our candidates will work to promote clean, healthy water," the Independence Party's statement continues, "affordable housing for our young people and senior citizens, fight to protect airport noise, help to promote job opportunities for our young people who are forced to leave, and hopefully the new senior citizens center, which has been put on the back burner. We hope that they will jumpstart a sleeping town board."

"We now leave it up to the Independence Party voters to decide," the statement concludes.

Election Day is Nov. 5.