Southold school board member pulls name from race

Southold school board member Scott DeSimone, left, with board vice president Judi Fouchet.

Southold school board member Scott DeSimone, left, with board vice president Judi Fouchet.

And then there were none.

No incumbent school board members are facing a challenge in the five Southold Town school districts this year after Southold Board of Education trustee Scott DeSimone withdrew his petition for candidacy this week. 

When asked by The Suffolk Times to fill out a school board candidate questionnaire, Mr. DeSimone said in an email late Wednesday night that his name will not appear on the ballot when district taxpayers head to the polls May 20.

“Please be advised that I withdrew my candidacy for re-election on May 4, 2014,” Mr. DeSimone’s statement read.

Mr. DeSimone and fellow board member Scott Latham were to be the only local incumbents facing a challenge from a newcomer this year, after district resident Brian Tobin submitted a petition to run in the two-seat election.

On Thursday, Mr. DeSimone said he’s a believer in term limits and felt it was time to move on knowing someone else had petitioned for the post.

“I only discovered when I submitted my petition on the last day for filing that Brian Tobin had submitted a petition,” he said in an email Thursday. “I know Brian well, having served with him on the Board of Directors of the North Fork Lacrosse Club.

“Brian and I met and spoke for two hours on many issues and I am quite comfortable that we share many similar viewpoints. I shared with Brian my strong belief in term limits, was comfortable with his candidacy, and advised him that I would withdraw. It is time for new perspective and energy.”

Currently, this is the first time since 1990 that there are no contested races on any district ballot in Southold Town, and it’s the first time in at least 45 years that just one newcomer’s name will appear on all local ballots.

But that could all change.

State law mandates that if any candidate withdraws his name at any period later than 15 days before the election, the time for filing nominating petitions for such office shall be extended to within seven days of the election.

In a notice published Tuesday on the Board of Education page of Southold’s website, the district set 5 p.m. Tuesday, May 13 as the new deadline for potential candidates to submit a petition.

District administrators could not be reached for comment late Wednesday night.