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Jul 9, 2019 6:59 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

East Hampton GOP Reelects Leaders

Jul 9, 2019 10:51 AM

The East Hampton Town Republican Committee last week reelected its current leadership to new terms heading up the town’s beleaguered party.

Manny Vilar was reelected chairman of the town Republicans on Friday night, former East Hampton Town Trustee Diane McNally was reelected vice chairwoman, and Kyle Ballou and Richard Gherardi were returned to their seats as secretary and treasurer, respectively.

“I am grateful and humbled by the faith shown me and the opportunity to serve our community and the Republican Party of East Hampton for the next two years,” Mr. Vilar said in a statement. “This year, with the help of State GOP Chairman Nick Langworthy and Suffolk GOP Chairman Jesse Garcia, it will be our mission to bring government back to the people by working together with everyone in our community regardless of political affiliation.”

The Republicans will have only a skeleton slate on the ballot for town elections this fall after an attempt to endorse a ticket topped by rogue registered Democrats failed to muster the necessary support from the party’s county leadership. There will be no Republican candidates for any of the three Town Board seats on the ballot and only five candidates for the nine Town Trustee seats in the Republican column, along with Town Justice Lisa Rana and Tax Assessor Jill Massa, who are seeking reelection.

It will be Mr. Vilar’s first full term as party chairman. He took over the chairmanship from Amos Goodman in December 2018 after Mr. Goodman resigned after just 10 months in the role, shortly before being charged with 20 felonies related to suspected forged signatures on party nominating petitions for the 2018 town and county elections.

Facing steep disadvantages against the Democrats in party registration, Mr. Vilar mustered an attempt to promote the “fusion ticket” of Democrats, Republicans and unaffiliated candidates for this year’s election cycle. But he was unable to get the county party to endorse the move—a failure that he has chalked up to a coincidence of timing with the election of a new county chairman the evening before the deadline for approvals of local endorsement.

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