The Southold GOP has replaced a Town Trustee candidate who was told by his employer that he had to chose between his job and seeking public office.
David Zuhoski of Cutchogue, a fisheries technician for Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Marine Program, withdrew from the race last week, said town Republican leader Peter McGreevy. In his place, the party selected Greenport real estate agent Charles Sanders, a lieutenant in the Army National Guard who has never before sought public office.
In May, the Republicans selected 26-year-old Mr. Zuhoski over incumbent Republican Trustee Dave Bergen of Cutchogue. At that time, Mr. McGreevy said that although the incumbent had “a very successful eight years in office,” the committee decided “it was time to go in a different direction.”
Mr. Bergen and Mr. Sanders were the only two contenders to replace Mr. Zuhoski, the leader said.
“It’s very difficult to find a candidate to run for a Trustee position because they have to take a full day off work every other week,” Mr. McGreevy said. “That narrows the pool of candidates.”
Mr. Sanders, who has served two tours of duty in Afghanistan, “best represents what the committee wanted in a candidate,” Mr. McGreevy added. On Mr. Bergen’s status with the party, he said, “Dave Bergen is a good Republican. We know he’ll continue to be a party supporter and we hope to consider him for future available positions.”
Mr. Sanders said he hopes to be an effective advocate for property rights while protecting the environment.
“A balance is my main focus,” he said.
A Midwest native, Mr. Sanders said he first came to the North Fork to visit a friend who spent his summers here.
“He invited me out and I absolutely fell in love with it,” he said.
After moving to Greenport in 1999, Mr. Sanders entered the real estate field and is currently an associate broker for Town & Country in Southold.
He returned from his second tour in Afghanistan in January.
“My experience in Afghanistan made me love America a hell of a lot more than I did before, I can tell you that,” he said.
Mr. Sanders will join GOP incumbents John Bredemeyer and Mike Domino. The Democrats selected candidates Geoffery Wells, Joe Finora Jr. and Bill Funke.