11/20/12 10:30am
11/20/2012 10:30 AM

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON FILE PHOTO | Riverhead Town Board members John Dunleavy, Sean Walter and Jodi Giglio (top, left to right) all screened for a COunty Legislature seat Monday.

The Suffolk County Republican Party screened eight candidates — seven from Riverhead Town, including Supervisor Sean Walter and councilpeople Jodi Giglio and John Dunleavy  — to run as the Republican candidate in a special election this February to fill the county Legislature seat left vacant by Ed Romaine, a party official said.

Ms. Giglio, Mr. Dunleavy and Mr. Walter met with county party leadership and the chairs and vice chairs of the Brookhaven, Riverhead and Southold town Republican committees Monday night to screen for the position, said Riverhead town GOP chairman John Galla.

Others who screened Monday include Bill Faulk, who served as an aide to Mr. Romaine during his time in the Legislature; former Conservative Committee chair James Saladino; Catherine Stark, the daughter of former town supervisor and councilman Jim Stark who now serves as chief of staff to County Legislator Jay Schniederman; Frank Seabrook; a ZBA member and conservative blogger; and Ed Densieski, a town Planning Board member and former Riverhead councilman.

“They all did exceptionally well,” Mr. Galla said of the candidates. “Everyone was on their game.”

The Republican candidate will be decided by the party and not through a primary because the vote to fill Ed Romaine’s seat will be a special election.

Mr. Faulk of Manorville was the only person who screened who resides outside the town’s limits.

No other candidates from other towns screened for the position Monday night, Mr. Galla said, though he added it wasn’t too late.

Though he could not provide a timetable for when the party would reach a decision, Mr. Galla said it would have to be soon because of the upcoming election and holiday seasons.

“We would rather do this sooner as a opposed to later,” he said. “Going into the holidays, this is an interesting dynamic. Some people are going to be out of town.”

Suffolk County Republican Party chairman John Jay LaValle could not be reached for comment.

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Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported the GOP had screened seven candidates.

11/07/12 12:56am
11/07/2012 12:56 AM

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Ed Romaine, right, was elected Brookhaven Town Supervisor Tuesday. He’s shown here with Brookhaven GOP chairman Jesse Garcia.

Election season came to a close on the North Fork Tuesday. It starts back up Wednesday.

That’s because North Fork County Legislator Ed Romaine (R-Center Moriches) has won a special election to become the next Brookhaven Town Supervisor, setting up a February special election to fill his seat in the Legislature.

“Tomorrow is a new day for cheers,” Mr. Romaine told GOP supporters at the party gala in Patchogue Tuesday night.

He said his replacement in the Legislature will have to fight hard to get the residents of the North Fork what they need. He said that person will need to stand up to others “for what is right” for the East End.

“If the issues are right and you can make a decent case, you can prevail,” said Mr. Romaine of what advice he’d give his replacement.

Now the attention will turn to just who that replacement will be.

Suffolk County Democratic Chairman Richard Schaffer of Babylon said his first phone call Wednesday will be to gauge the interest of Southold Councilman Al Krupski, the only Democrat to serve on a Town Board in Mr. Romaine’s district.

“People respect him and know he calls it like he sees it,” said Mr. Schaffer of Mr. Krupski. He did not discuss any other potential candidates.

The Republican picture isn’t as clear but a pair of Riverhead Councilmembers, Jodi Giglio and John Dunleavy, previously expressed an interest in the post to the News-Review.

Democrats, with a 12-member caucus that includes two minor-party members, currently hold a majority in the Suffolk County Legislature. The County Executive, Steve Bellone, is also a Democrat.

Reporting by Jennifer Gustavson and Michael White