GOP challenger drops out of primary race against Supervisor Russell

Looks like there will be no Republican primary for Southold Town supervisor after all.

Stephen Kiely, a Mattituck attorney who last month announced his intention to run a Republican primary against incumbent Supervisor Scott Russell, announced he was discontinuing that effort Friday.  

“After careful consideration, and despite having obtained the requisite number of designating petition signatures, I have decided to terminate my primary campaign for Southold Town Supervisor, effective immediately,” Mr. Kiely wrote on Friday.

“Over the course of campaigning and having spoken to more than 400 Republican households, it became very apparent that terminating my campaign was necessary to avoid fracturing the Republican Party.

“I will continue to work with the agricultural and business community to ensure that they are protected and promoted in a manner that is compatible with the interests of all residents.  This will include being counsel to the Agricultural Advisory Committee, pro bono.

“I will also continue to assist the Town in developing a recreational facility to benefit the youth, the seniors and all residents.”

“I wish him the best in whatever future endeavor he undertakes,” Mr. Russell responded. “I can now focus on the campaign this November.”

Mr. Russell added that the town already has the Town Attorney serving as the counsel to the Agricultural Advisory Committee, but said Mr. Kiely could send a letter of interest to the Town Board if he is interested in serving in that capacity.

Mr. Russell has been Southold Supervisor for 14 years, and his seeking four more. 

This year is the first in which primaries in New York State will be held in June instead of September. 

The primary date this year is June 25. 

The new primary date forced political committees to name their slates of candidates as early as February in some cases.

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Photo caption: Stephen Kiely announced he will no longer seek the GOP nomination for supervisor. (File photo)