clubhouse, east hampton, indoor, tennis, cornhole, bar, happy hour, bowling, mini golf

Story - News

Mar 8, 2016 12:18 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Tom Knobel Resigns As East Hampton GOP Chair

Tom Knobel
Mar 8, 2016 12:59 PM

Tom Knobel stepped down as chairman of the East Hampton Town Republican Committee on Monday, a move that follows his removal from a Suffolk County Board of Elections job last month by the party’s county chairman, John J. LaValle and landslide losses in last fall’s elections by East Hampton Republicans, in both town and trustee races.

Mr. Knobel will be succeeded as chairman, at least temporarily, by Springs resident Reggie Cornelia, the party’s vice-chair.

“This kind of caught everybody by surprise,” Mr. Cornelia said of Mr. Knobel’s stepping down. “I’ll be the chair at least until the April meeting. That will give people, and me, a chance to do whatever lobbying and discussing and thinking it over they need to, so we can make a decision about ‘where do we go from here.’”

Mr. Cornelia, who also works at the Board of Elections, said he personally handed in Mr. Knobel’s resignation letter on Monday.

Mr. Knobel did not return calls seeking comment on Tuesday. Until Monday, he had been the party chairman since 2013, his second stint in the role.

He accepted the nomination to be the party’s candidate for supervisor last fall, after other viable town candidates did not materialize through the screening process. He ran with Margaret Turner and Lisa Larsen, both of whom filled-in the ticket after the committee’s original nominees withdrew their names from the race. The slate lost in a dramatic landslide, despite the largest influx of campaign funding to ever be poured into a local election, primarily from deep pocketed individuals and companies with interests in the operations of East Hampton Airport.

It is the second time that Mr. Knobel has stepped down from the chairmanship of the local GOP following stinging campaign losses. In 2006 he stepped down after the party suffered a similar Town Board sweep, and Mr. Knobel lost his own seat as an East Hampton Town Trustee. But he remained vice-chairman to his successor, Bill Gardiner, and took back the reins three election cycles later when Mr. Gardiner quit the post after Democrats took back the majority on the board in 2013.

Mr. LaValle, who could not be reached for comment, removed Mr. Knobel from his $74,000-a-year job as a purchasing agent at the BoE in early February. 
What are known to political insiders as patronage jobs at the BoE, are the result of a system made somewhat necessary by the need to maintain a balance of Republican and Democratic employees.

You've read 1 of 7 free articles this month.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

East Hampton Republican Committee....such a thing exists?
By Preliator Lives (437), Obamavillie on Mar 8, 16 2:52 PM
So the Vice-Chairman and Chairman of the Republican Party out here get political patronage jobs? Great.
By harbor (415), East Hampton on Mar 8, 16 3:37 PM
On both side, Harbor. Dems get it too.
By Draggerman (955), Southampton on Mar 8, 16 4:23 PM
Who from Dem side in East Hampton?
By harbor (415), East Hampton on Mar 8, 16 9:08 PM
Harbor - How about Potter and Lieber on the Planning Board and Whelan and Rogers on the ZBA. All big Dens that lost elections and then were given paid Board positions by Cantwell.
By pluff (60), East Hampton on Mar 9, 16 9:17 PM