11/15/14 10:00am
11/15/2014 10:00 AM
Tim Bishop addressed the crowd on Election Day Nov. 4 after losing to Republican Lee Zeldin. (Credit: Robert O'Rourk)

Tim Bishop addresses the crowd on Election Day Nov. 4 after losing to Republican Lee Zeldin. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)

When I began reporting on Suffolk County politics back in February 2006, the Democratic party here was on the rise.

In Brookhaven Town, where I was assigned at the time, Democrats were one month into their first majority in more than 25 years. The party controlled the Legislature, the 1st District Assemblyman was a Democrat and so was our local congressman. Suffolk also had just as many Democratic town supervisors as Republicans in office and the county executive was a Democrat.  (more…)

11/25/13 2:19pm
11/25/2013 2:19 PM
CARRIE MILLER FILE PHOTO | Southold Town Justice William Price celebrated his victory at the Democrats’ election night headquarters at Touch of Venice in Cutchogue earlier this month.

CARRIE MILLER FILE PHOTO | Southold Town Justice William Price celebrated his victory at the Democrats’ election night headquarters at Touch of Venice in Cutchogue earlier this month.

Southold Town Justice William Price said Monday that his next term will be his last.

The 62-year-old judge, who will be sworn in for his ninth term in January, said he does not plan to seek re-election in 2017.

“I’m not running ever again,” he said.

When asked why, he simply replied, “I’ll be 66 years old.”

Mr. Price, a former Republican, was first elected in 1981 when he defeated Democrat John Lee with 61 percent of the vote to replace Republican Justice James Rich, who did not seek re-election that year.

In office for 32 years, Mr. Price was dropped from the Republican ticket in favor of Mattituck attorney William Goggins this spring. But after receiving Democratic backing for the first time in his career, Mr. Price handily defeated his opponent with 59 percent of the vote.

Immensely popular, Mr. Price has only been challenged four times in his political career. After winning re-election by 70 percent of the vote in 1989, he ran uncontested in five consecutive elections prior to this November.

[email protected]

11/09/13 8:00am
11/09/2013 8:00 AM

CARRIE MILLER PHOTO | Longtime incumbent Town Justice Bill Price was elected to a ninth term Tuesday.

They call it The Silly Season for a reason. Elections — and particularly local elections — often bring out the silliness in everyone involved, including the candidates, their handlers and supporters, sometimes even the voters.

The former Joan Giger Walker and I decided the best way to avoid the silliness this year was to get out of town for Election Day. And we did, after having submitted our absentee ballots, of course. This is being written on Tuesday morning, Nov. 5, and we are 800 miles from home, in Asheville, N.C.

And yet the silliness has followed us here.

Actually, for us the silliness began last week when the paper made its endorsements. Friends of ours began to call and email us with essentially the same question: How could the paper possibly have endorsed challenger Bill Goggins over incumbent Town Justice Bill Price Jr.?

Our short answer: Ask the paper. Apparently even some of our close friends need to be reminded that Joan and I no longer own nor work for the paper. (Although I still do write this column every other week.) It’s been years since I was involved in the endorsement process — and it is a process, involving both editors and reporters, who make their final decision by majority vote — nor are we involved in any editorial or management decision making. Repeat: any.

Still, the silliness persists. On Monday a friend called to ask why the paper tipped off the Goggins camp in advance so they could mail a postcard delivered on Saturday morning, alerting voters to the endorsement. (Yes, this guy still is a friend.) The answer is simple: Every Thursday morning around 4 a.m., the content of the paper is “published” on its website, giving Goggins and his supporters 37 hours — more than enough time — to print, address and post the cards before the post office closed at 5 p.m. Friday. The paper never has provided — and, I firmly believe, never will provide — advance notice of any political endorsement, including to the former owners and co-publishers, who were surprised as anyone by the endorsement of Bill Goggins.

There’s one more indicator that this silliness has followed us here to North Carolina, although it’s really more a coincidence than pure silliness.

Last night, we were getting a brief tour of Asheville in a car driven by former Mattituck-Cutchogue School District staff member Debbie Gurriere. In the passenger seat was her husband, Ray, former owner of the Love Lane (Mattituck) Pharmacy. We knew Debbie and Ray when they lived in Mattituck, and we got in touch with them when we knew we were going to be passing through Asheville, where they have lived since leaving the North Fork several years ago.

They were, as you might imagine, curious about the local election back in Southold Town, and I told them about the endorsement flap and the fact that I had written an earlier column supporting Bill Price. (Living proof that we no longer have a say in the endorsements.) And as they were getting ready to drop us off at our B&B, Ray announced that he had just sent a text message to an old friend of theirs back in New Suffolk, saying they were currently riding around Asheville with Joan and Troy Gustavson.

Can you guess who the old friend is? None other than Bill Goggins himself.

Even 800 miles away from home, it seems the silliness cannot be avoided.

11/06/13 12:45am
KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO | Republican candidates celebrate a largely victorious election night at the Soundview Inn in Greenport.

KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO | Republican candidates celebrate a largely victorious election night at the Soundview Inn in Greenport.

Speaking with The Suffolk Times shortly after the Southold Town Republican Committee opted not to endorse senior judge William Price, GOP chairman Peter McGreevy said it was time to make a change.

“While no one doubts that [Judge Price] has served this town well,” he said in May, “the committee thought it was time for a change and acted upon that.”

The voting public disagreed.

Mr. Price, 62, still a registered Republican but running on the Democratic ticket, won overwhelmingly Tuesday, capturing 60 percent of the vote in his highly anticipated race against Mattituck attorney William Goggins.

“It feels great to have the people of Southold to put me back in office,” said Mr. Price of Greenport, who was first elected to his seat in 1981. “It feels good. I was hoping for that. I was thankful that the Democrats asked me to run for them so the people of Southold could choose who could be judge.”

CARRIE MILLER PHOTO | Southold Town Justice William Price celebrated his victory at the Democrats' election night headquarters at Touch of Venice in Cutchogue.

CARRIE MILLER PHOTO | Southold Town Justice William Price celebrated his victory at the Democrats’ election night headquarters at Touch of Venice in Cutchogue.

When it comes time for him to be sworn in for his ninth term as Southold Town Justice this January, Mr. Price will be the only elected town official backed by Democrats. Republicans ensured as much by winning the other 11 seats up for grabs Tuesday, including two contested seats on the Town Board, three contested Trustee seats and all three Assessor posts.

So at the same time Mr. Price was smiling over his victory at the Democratic gala at Touch of Venice in Cutchogue, his old friends in the GOP were celebrating at the Republican party nine miles up the road at the Soundview Inn in Greenport.

“I’m very positive about the way the campaign was handled,” Mr. McGreevy said. “We worked hard and we had great candidates.”

The two Republican choices for Town Board, Jim Dinizio and Bob Ghosio, were elected with a combined 58 percent of the total vote — a drop from 2011 when the party secured close to 64 percent of the Town Board election, but more than enough to maintain a 5-0 Town Board majority. Mr. Dinizio, 59, of Greenport, a registered Conservative who was appointed to the Town Board in February to replace current County Legislator Al Krupski, a Democrat, was the top vote getter with 4,135 votes. Mr. Ghosio, 50, of Greenport, who will now be replaced on the town’s Board of Trustees, received 3,567 votes, 615 votes ahead of opponent Mary Eisenstein of Mattituck. Southold department store owner Ron Rothman, the other Democratic challenger, received 2,475 votes.

“You will never know how much I appreciate this and I will do the best job I can,” Mr. Dinizo said to his supporters following the announcement of the results from all 19 Southold Town election districts.

“It was an awful lot of work,” Mr. Ghosio added. “The Republicans are well appreciated in this town and it shows tonight.”

Ms. Eisenstein, 64, who said she continued her campaign through Election Day, starting her day outside Wendy’s Deli and Handy Pantry in Mattituck before knocking on doors and then making phone calls with the help of her husband, was feeling “neutral” as the results were being announced.

“It’s neat being here and being able to appreciate the process,” she said. “I think I have learned what it means to be a candidate.”

“No matter the outcome, it’s a positive experience,” said Mr. Rothman, 58. “I met a lot of great people.”

The last time Southold Republicans walked away from an election night with a 5-0 majority on the Town Board was in 1999 under the leadership of Supervisor Jean Cochran. The GOP had held that unanimous majority from 1997 to 2001, before Supervisor Josh Horton and Councilman Tom Wickham both claimed victory with Democratic backing in the 2001 election.

One of the first actions of the new Town Board will be to appoint a new trustee to replace Mr. Ghosio, when he joins the Town Board in January. A special election for the final year of the term will then be held in November, according to Mr. McGreevy.

Mr. Ghosio, who will replace Republican Chris Talbot on the Town Board, was far from the only candidate to win an open seat Tuesday. Former Councilman Vinny Orlando, a 52-year-old Republican from Southold, won the Highway Superintendent post vacated by 12-year incumbent Democrat Pete Harris, who like Mr. Talbot opted to not seek re-election this year. Assessor candidate Rich Caggiano, 64, of Southold will fill the two-year expired term of fellow Republican Darline Duffy, who retired June 1. And in the closest race of the night, Republican trustee candidate Charles Sanders of Greenport was elected to the seat left open when two-term incumbent Dave Bergen did not receive the Republican nomination this time around. Mr. Sanders edged Democrat Geoffrey Wells, 60, by just 578 votes.

“I’m excited,” said Mr. Sanders, 45. “This was my first time putting my hat in a political race.”

Incumbent Republican trustees John Bredemeyer and Mike Domino both won re-election easily, as did Assessors Bob Scott and Kevin Webster. Town Clerk Betty Neville and Fishers Island Justice Louisa Evans, both Republicans, ran unopposed and were also re-elected.

Republicans also scored a major win in the special election for the North Fork seat in the New York State Assembly, with Anthony Palumbo, 43, of New Suffolk, a law partner of Mr. Goggins. Mr. Palumbo won with 58 percent of the vote over 28-year-old Democrat John McManmon of Riverhead.

Despite his party winning just one town and one county race — Mr. Krupski was re-elected in a landslide to the county Legislature — Southold Town Democratic Committee chairman Art Tillman was positive when speaking of the Democrats’ campaign in his post-election speech to supporters.

“While this may seem like a loss it really isn’t,” he said. “This was the best run campaign I have ever worked on. We’ve got everything to be proud of.”

And among all the celebrating at the GOP gala, there was still that one town candidate who went home without a victory Tuesday.

“Life goes on,” said Mr. Goggins, 53. “I’ll continue to practice law. I met a lot of nice people on the campaign trail. It was a good experience.”

“He ran a good campaign and he will make an excellent judge one day,” Mr. McGreevy said.

But the 4,091 Southold Town residents who voted in favor of Mr. Price Tuesday made certain Mr. Goggins will at least have to wait for that day.

Read more in Thursday’s edition of The Suffolk Times.

[email protected]

See the full results below:

Town Clerk, Town of Southold (Vote for 1)
Southold: reported:
19 of 19
100.00%
Ballots:
7,077

Elizabeth Ann Neville (REP, CON, IND)
5,130
99.96%
REP
3,289
64.09%
CON
865
16.86%
IND
976
19.02%
Write-in
2
0.04%

Total
5,132
100.00%

Superintendent of Highways, Town of Southold (Vote for 1)
Southold: reported:
19 of 19
100.00%
Ballots:
7,077

Eugene L Wesnofske III (DEM)
2,911
44.20%
Vincent M Orlando (REP, IND)
3,671
55.74%
REP
3,238
49.16%
IND
433
6.57%
Write-in
4
0.06%

Total
6,586
100.00%

Town Justice, Town of Southold (Vote for 1)
Southold: reported:
19 of 19
100.00%
Ballots:
7,077

William H Price Jr (DEM, WOR)
4,091
59.15%
DEM
3,615
52.27%
WOR
476
6.88%
William C Goggins (REP, CON, IND)
2,824
40.83%
REP
1,991
28.79%
CON
518
7.49%
IND
315
4.55%
Write-in
1
0.01%

Total
6,916
100.00%

Town Justice (Fishers Island), Town of Southold (Vote for 1)
Southold: reported:
19 of 19
100.00%
Ballots:
7,077

Louisa P Evans (REP, CON, IND)
4,687
99.91%
REP
3,049
65.00%
CON
753
16.05%
IND
885
18.87%
Write-in
4
0.09%

Total
4,691
100.00%

Councilman, Town of Southold (Vote for 2)
Southold: reported:
19 of 19
100.00%
Ballots:
7,077

Mary Eisenstein (DEM, WOR)
2,952
22.48%
DEM
2,659
20.25%
WOR
293
2.23%
Robert Ghosio (REP, CON, IND)
3,567
27.17%
REP
2,574
19.61%
CON
670
5.10%
IND
323
2.46%
Ronald J Rothman (DEM, WOR)
2,475
18.85%
DEM
2,241
17.07%
WOR
234
1.78%
James Dinizio Jr (REP, CON, IND)
4,135
31.50%
REP
2,960
22.55%
CON
750
5.71%
IND
425
3.24%
Write-in
0
0.00%

Total
13,129
100.00%

Assessor, Town of Southold (Vote for 2)
Southold: reported:
19 of 19
100.00%
Ballots:
7,077

Terry Hofer (DEM)
1,994
15.26%
Robert I Scott Jr (REP, CON, IND)
4,708
36.04%
REP
3,363
25.74%
CON
790
6.05%
IND
555
4.25%
Marie A Domenici (DEM)
2,104
16.11%
Kevin W Webster (REP, CON, IND)
4,255
32.57%
REP
3,010
23.04%
CON
765
5.86%
IND
480
3.67%
Write-in
2
0.02%

Total
13,063
100.00%

Assessor, Town of Southold (Unexpired Term) (Vote for 1)
Southold: reported:
19 of 19
100.00%
Ballots:
7,077

Jason A Petrucci (DEM)
2,424
37.98%
Richard L Caggiano (REP, CON, IND)
3,956
61.98%
REP
2,842
44.52%
CON
698
10.94%
IND
416
6.52%
Write-in
3
0.05%

Total
6,383
100.00%

Trustee, Town of Southold (Vote for 3)
Southold: reported:
19 of 19
100.00%
Ballots:
7,077

Joseph J Finora Jr (DEM)
2,305
12.13%
John M Bredemeyer III (REP, CON, IND)
4,231
22.26%
REP
2,993
15.75%
CON
749
3.94%
IND
489
2.57%
William C Funke (DEM)
2,032
10.69%
Michael J Domino (REP, CON, IND)
4,228
22.25%
REP
2,970
15.63%
CON
772
4.06%
IND
486
2.56%
Geoffrey M Wells (DEM, WOR)
2,810
14.79%
DEM
2,588
13.62%
WOR
222
1.17%
Charles J Sanders (REP, CON, IND)
3,388
17.83%
REP
2,413
12.70%
CON
671
3.53%
IND
304
1.60%
Write-in
10
0.05%

Total
19,004
100.00%

Click below for a recap of our live election night coverage:

 

10/31/13 6:00am
10/31/2013 6:00 AM

PETER WALDNER CARTOON

To the editor:

Whatever happened to the cute cartoons each week from Peter Waldner? I was upset to see that he had to get some political digs into this week’s cartoon. In fact, I think The Suffolk Times is no longer the hometown newspaper that I started to read many years ago. It seems to be trying to get into politics outside of our local elections.

If I want to see such political cartoons, I can buy the big-time newspapers. I just want to find out what is going on locally, not in Washington, D.C. I hear enough of that on the news each night.

My advice to Peter is, keep it cute … not political.

Elizabeth Fletcher, Mattituck

To the editor:

The Oct. 24 cartoon displayed “frightening” Halloween masks. One of the masks is that of Senator Ted Cruz. Now, I am sure that this mask will frighten a “few,” who are also frightened of the truth. However the rest of us will react as they did in Amarillo, with an eight-minute standing ovation for the truth being told by Senator Cruz.

Louis Williams, Southold

To read more letters to the editor, pick up a copy of this week’s Suffolk Times on newsstands or click on the E-Paper.