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Schneiderman Looks to Keep County Seat

Taylor Vecsey
Southampton Patch

Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman, I-Montauk, announced Monday that he will seek reelection in November, instead of running for the East Hampton Town supervisor position.

Should he win reelection, it will be his sixth and final term due to term limits on the Suffolk County Legislature. The legislator, who keeps an office in Sag Harbor, said he has not ruled out the possibility of a run for supervisor — a post he held before being elected to the Legislature — down the road.
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“I am grateful for the overwhelming support and encouragement I have received as I have weighed how best to serve our community. After great thought and deliberation, I have chosen to seek reelection to the Suffolk County Legislature," Schneiderman said.

“East Hampton is a special place, and the idea of bringing our town together as Supervisor is very appealing to me. However, there is still more work I feel I need to do in the Legislature," he said.

“County Executive Bellone has asked me to work closely with him to focus on budget mitigation that puts Suffolk County on a more sustainable path while protecting critical services," he said. “Suffolk County is at a critical crossroads and I believe I can make a real difference to ensure we make the right choices to move our County forward. I do not want to walk away from Suffolk County at a time when we are facing a deficit of up to $250 million and the future of many critical programs are unsettled," Schneiderman said.

The East Hampton Republican Committee announced last month that it was supporting Schneiderman for town supervisor for the 2013 race, despite the fact that the Republican two-term incumbent, Bill Wilkinson, hadn't yet told the committee if he wanted to keep his seat for a third term.

On Feb. 13, the committee took a formal vote to nominate Schneiderman, a member of the Independence party who lives in Montauk, Kurt Kappel, the committee chairman, said at the time. The announcement was still unofficial, he said, as the committee was waiting to form a full slate first.

Kappel said Schneiderman informed him of his decision over the weekend. "I'm a little disappointed, yes," he said on Monday. "He had to do what he thought is best. He does have a lot of things unfinished on the county level," Kappel said of Schneiderman.

A quorum of the 38-member committee was present for the February vote. Carole Campolo, the committee secretary, said that she and another member were the only ones not to vote for Schneiderman.

But Schneiderman said he wasn't ready to accept the committee's endorsement. He told East Hampton Patch last month that he wanted to wait at least until he had a chance to screen with the East Hampton Democratic Committee, which he did on March 10. He called it a major career decision.