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Jun 19, 2018 3:33 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

East Hampton Democrats, Freed From Court Injunction, Will Try Again To Hold Leadership Vote

Jun 19, 2018 4:07 PM

The East Hampton Town Democratic Party will try again this week to hold an internal election to choose a new party chairperson.

For the second time this spring, longtime party chairwoman Jeanne Frankl submitted a letter of resignation from her post on Monday evening and called for an election to be held on Wednesday, June 20.

She had done so a little more than a month ago as well, shortly before the party’s May meeting. But the original vote was canceled after another party member, Rona Klopman, obtained a court injunction that ordered the party not to hold an election until accusations of collusion and violations of state election laws were considered.

The court threw out Ms. Klopman’s objections late last month and gave the party the green light to hold elections.

“The lawsuit was dismissed and it’s time to move on,” said Betty Mazur, the party’s vice chairwoman under Ms. Frankl, who will serve as chair until Wednesday’s election is held. “We have a lot of work to do this year. We have a primary next week. We have a primary in September, and then we have the all-important general election in November.”

The two candidates in the chairmanship election will be Ms. Klopman and Cate Rogers, the former vice chair of the East Hampton Town Zoning Board of Appeals.

Only the 38 members of the party committee will be able to cast ballots, with each of their votes weighted according to the number of votes cast from the district they represented in the last statewide election.

Ms. Klopman’s lawsuit had accused Ms. Frankl and others in the party of arranging committee assignments to give more electoral weight to the votes of members they knew to support Ms. Rogers. But Ms. Klopman said the appeal has not yet been filed.

“I guess we know how it’s going to go, don’t we?” she said.

Earlier this month the committee held a similar vote to nominate a candidate for the single Town Board seat on the November ballot. The committee nominated David Lys, who was appointed to the board in January, but his challenger, David Gruber, also pointed to the shuffled committee assignments as having skewed the results.

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