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For first time in decades, Southold Democrats field town clerk candidate

November’s election will feature something not seen in more than three decades in Southold Town: a contested race for town clerk.

The Southold Town Democratic Committee announced Monday that Candace Hall, a native of Greenport, has earned the nomination for clerk.

Ms. Hall is a small-business owner, licensed insurance broker and former preschool teacher who says she is passionate about ensuring diverse representation for minority children.

She said she’s thrilled to bring her positive energy, administrative and management skills and commitment to the community to Town Hall.

“I am truly humbled and overjoyed to be joining the team as the Democratic candidate for town clerk,” Ms. Hall said.

At a nominating convention held in early March, the committee did not select nominees for town clerk, assessor or town justice. 

Kathryn Casey Quigley, who chairs the town Democratic committee, said Monday that during the screening process, they hadn’t found the right fit until they interviewed Ms. Hall.

“We were so impressed with Candace’s background, enthusiasm, energy and commitment to this community. She will bring an organized, welcoming, energetic and hardworking presence to her role as clerk, and we couldn’t be more pleased to have her join this phenomenal slate of candidates,” Ms. Casey Quigley said.

Ms. Hall will face Denis Noncarrow, the town’s government liaison officer, in the race to replace longtime Town Clerk Betty Neville, who announced she would not seek reelection.

Ms. Neville, who worked as a civil servant with the town from 1968 to 1997, was first elected to the town clerk position in 1998 and has run unopposed in every election since.

The last contested race for town clerk was in 1985, when Right to Life candidate Margaret Kaelin opposed former town clerk Judith Terry. The Right to Life party ran a nearly full slate of local candidates that year. Southold Democrats have not run a candidate for town clerk since 1981.

Ms. Hall joins a ticket topped by town council candidates Greg Doroski and Brian Mealy, Dan Goodwin for highway superintendent and Liz Gillooly, Eric Sepenoski and Elizabeth Peeples for town Trustee.

The GOP nominated Greg Williams, who owns Country Time Cycle in Mattituck, and Anthony Sannino of Sannino Vineyard to run for Town Board seats now held by Republican Bob Ghosio and Conservative Jim Dinizio, both of whom declined to seek reelection.

Republicans also selected Jason Taggart, Kristina Gabrielsen and Peter Johnstone Jr. to run for town Trustee posts and declined to nominate incumbent Highway Superintendent Vincent Orlando for reelection. Donald Grim will run for highway superintendent instead.

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 2.