With the November 8 election nearing, candidates vying for positions throughout the South Fork will appear at two separate debates scheduled in the next week.
Tonight, October 13, at 7 p.m. the League of Women Voters of the Hamptons will sponsor a debate at Rogers Memorial Library in Southampton featuring candidates for Suffolk County Legislature and the Southampton town board.
Incumbent Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman, an Independence Party member also endorsed by the Democratic Party, will face off against Republican challenger Cornelius Kelly.
Despite the recent write-in candidacy of former Republican Southampton Town Supervisor Linda Kabot against incumbent Democratic Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst, the debate will be limited to candidates for Southampton Town Board.
Incumbent board member Democrat Bridget Fleming will be joined by fellow Democratic candidate Brad Bender, who is also endorsed by the Independence and Working Families parties at the debate. They are vying for two open seats on the town board and will face Republican challengers William Hughes, Jr. and Christine Scalera, who is also endorsed by the Independence Party.
On Monday, October 17 at 7 p.m. the League will host a second debate for East Hampton Town candidates at LTV Studios in Wainscott. In addition to featuring a debate between Schneiderman and Kelly, the forum will also focus on the East Hampton supervisor and town board races.
Incumbent Republican Supervisor Bill Wilkinson, also endorsed by the Independence Party, will face Democratic challenger Zach Cohen, who is also endorsed by the Working Families Party.
There are six candidates for two seats on the town board. Sylvia Overby and Peter Van Scoyoc will represent the Democratic and Working Families party slates on Tuesday night. Richard Haeg and Steven Gaines, Republican candidates for town board, are also expected to attend the debate along with Independence Party candidates Marilyn Behan and Bill Mott.
The League has also invited other candidates seeking office within the towns — including for town justice, town highway superintendent in East Hampton, and town trustee — to introduce themselves at the events, although they will not engage in a formal debate.