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May 26, 2011 2:21 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Kelly Tapped By County Republicans To Challenge Schneiderman

May 31, 2011 5:32 PM

The Suffolk County Republican Committee nominated Westhampton Beach resident Cornelius Kelly to challenge incumbent County Legislator Jay Schneiderman at a convention held late last month.

The news of Mr. Kelly’s nomination came as a surprise to some, as Patrick Heaney, a former Southampton Town supervisor who currently works as the assistant to the commissioner in the County Department of Information Technology, publicly announced his desire to run for the position in March.

Mr. Heaney will not be running for the position, according to Suffolk County Republican Committee Chairman John Jay LaValle this week. He said that Mr. Heaney withdrew from consideration for personal health reasons. He noted that Mr. Heaney never actually screened for the position.

Mr. Heaney did not return calls seeking comment this week.

Mr. Schneiderman, an Independence Party member, represents the 2nd Legislative District, which comprises the South Fork and the towns of Southampton and East Hampton. Along with Mr. Kelly, the Republicans nominated Suffolk County Treasurer Angie Carpenter to challenge Democratic candidate and Babylon Town Supervisor Steve Bellone for the county executive’s seat.

Mr. Kelly, who has never before run for office, said he was pleased with the nomination. “I was hopeful,” he said, describing how he felt leading up to his nomination. “I was very hopeful. And I’m very happy to have received it.”

The 39-year-old candidate was born and raised in Westhampton Beach. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and three children—Meghan, Lauren and Finn. A former bond analyst, he founded Liberty Property Services in 2005, a title insurance company. His brother, Robert Kelly Jr., serves as Westhampton Beach Village justice.

Mr. Schneiderman, 49, lives in Montauk. He is completing his fourth term as legislator and was elected in 2003. He has two children— Magda and Ruben. Before being elected to the Suffolk County Legislature, Mr. Schneiderman served as East Hampton Town supervisor for four years. Prior to that, he was the chairman of the town’s Zoning Board of Appeals. He currently owns the Breakers Motel on Old Montauk Highway in Montauk.

Mr. Schneiderman said he is running on his record of serving the East End.

“I’m making sure we’re not forgotten out here in a county that is often geared toward western Suffolk,” he said. “I make sure we get our fair share of services and financial support.”

High county taxes and the fact that both of the county’s homeless sex offender trailers are located in Southampton Town are issues that are important to Mr. Kelly, and ones he plans to address in his campaign. He said they’re also issues that Mr. Schneiderman hasn’t addressed in his tenure, noting that he failed to close the county’s homeless sex offender trailers this year. He claimed that Mr. Schneiderman hasn’t been part of a strong and lasting coalition in the legislature to be able to effect change. He also believes there needs to be a more even distribution of Suffolk County sales tax to the East End. “We don’t get our fair share,” he said. “And Jay has been unable to recoup our fair share.”

On the other hand, Mr. Schneiderman said he has implemented a number of projects in his district that have helped the community, which include creating bus service on the East End on Sundays, which will start in July, he said. A plan to add another westbound lane on a portion of County Road 39 is expected to kick off next spring. And the legislator said he currently has a bill in the works that would increase the amount of money municipalities on the East End receive from county sales tax revenue to help offset the costs of operating their police departments. He said he’s confident the bill will pass since it has already received support from the Suffolk County Police Benevolent Association.

Mr. Schneiderman said he’s participated in key county committees. Currently he’s the chair of the public works and transportation committee and vice chair of the budget and finance committee.

“There’s lots of projects on the East End that before may have not happened but under my tenure, I’ve made sure that these things move forward,” Mr. Schneiderman said. “I have lots of other things I want to do.”

Party chairmen from both the Democratic and Republican county committees spoke highly of their nominees.

Mr. LaValle said Mr. Kelly is “dynamite,” and the kind of candidate that exemplifies the future of the Republican Party. He touted the fact that Mr. Kelly is a business owner with a young family and someone who is involved in his community.

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Maybe Mr. Kelly can explain why he's attacking the Trustees for trying to stop a land grab by the ever-greedy, ever-grubby Westhampton Dunes crowd. I really have my doubts about anyone who sides with these clowns.
By clam pie (161), Westhampton on May 26, 11 3:51 PM
3 members liked this comment
Right you are.
By goldenrod (505), southampton on May 26, 11 9:59 PM
1 member liked this comment
I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for the explanation.
If I were Jay, I'd be breathing a big sigh of relief
By cedric (22), Southampton on May 27, 11 8:29 AM
1 member liked this comment
(oops -- hit the "like" button by mistake snf don't know how to take it back,)

Where is rhe story (or information) about Kelly and West Hampton Dunes vs the Town Trustees?

Or is this just a disinformation ploy by Schneiderman loyalists?
By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on May 27, 11 9:34 AM
I have it straight from one who was there at the Republicans' convention. Kelly tried for a Trustee nomination, but didn't make it. He said he was running because of the Trustees' stand on the Westhampton Dunes dispute over land added by accretion on the bay side. He's on the side of all his Republican friends who make money in real estate over there. You can read it in the papers. too, but this site won't let me tell you where.
By clam pie (161), Westhampton on May 27, 11 10:37 AM
1 member liked this comment
I heard the story from someone who was at the convention also. They said he attacked the trustees as soon as he had the nomination. That was stupid.
Schneiderman doesn't have to put out disinformation. He can run on his record.
By housewife (79), east hampton on May 27, 11 1:54 PM
He wouldn't try for a trustee nomination at the county convention. He had to go to the county convention seeking the legislative nomination. He would have sought the trustee nomination at the town conventian 10 days ago. No stories about him seeking the trustee nomination then -- please directme the that story.
By formertbm (76), east hampton on May 27, 11 6:23 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By formertbm (76), east hampton on May 27, 11 6:23 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By formertbm (76), east hampton on May 27, 11 6:23 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By formertbm (76), east hampton on May 27, 11 6:23 PM
Obviously you're either a Trustee or a friend of one...Kelly is attacking the Trustees because they're old, washed up and they make everything personal - especially the Westhampton Dunes litigation. Well, at least Shultz is finally going to lose this year...one down...
By getalife (61), Southampton on May 31, 11 12:08 AM
And you're obviously either Hizzoner Mayor Vegliante or one of his goons. Here's a little tip, don't count Eric Shultz or any of the trustees out just yet. They may not be perfect, but they've got a lot more friends than the Pirates of the Moriches in Westhampton Dunes.
By clam pie (161), Westhampton on May 31, 11 8:40 PM
1 member liked this comment
Eric? Is this you??? Haha....
Good luck to Shultz winning on the R line alone...chances are...hmmm....slim? Good riddance.
By the way, I dislike Vegliante more than I do Shultz! But living in Hampton Bays, I can't vote him out. But I can certainly get Shultz out!
By getalife (61), Southampton on Jun 15, 11 1:43 PM
Wait, maybe you're Chuck? Hmmm...
By getalife (61), Southampton on Jun 15, 11 1:47 PM
I love the unbiased photo with those red-eyes glaring. Come on 27east - no one knows how to eliminate red-eye in a photo? This is *ALMOST* as bad as those photos you guys ripped off someone's facebook for the summer rental article.

By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on May 26, 11 4:10 PM
There was no bias intended. In an effort to get the story posted as quickly as possible, the photo was included before it was adjusted. It has since been adjusted to eliminate the red eye.
By Bill Sutton, Managing Editor (117), Westhampton Beach on May 26, 11 4:39 PM
Does an odd rendering of the photo, change what the man stands for, and won't stand for?

Do first impressions really mean "everything"?

I would suppose not...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on May 26, 11 10:07 PM
They don't mean "everything" Mr. Z but certainly you have seen certain newspapers locally and nationally post unflattering pictures when they have a "message" to send. In fact - candidates who have a lot of money or ties to newspapers usually get posts ("press releases") with nice, smiling pictures of themselves . . . perhaps Mr. Kelly is simply not ahead in the game here - the message is to SEND A PICTURE to Bill Sutton rather than relying on "The Press" to get a good picture of you!! Simple. ...more
By Board Watcher (534), East Hampton on May 26, 11 11:33 PM
Why was there not a story about Mr Kelly's surprise bid to get the nomination for a Trustee seat just two weeks before accepting the nomination for legislator? He and a group of local GOP committee people, mostly from the Westhampton area, put a great deal of effort into his trustee bid. They believed they had more than enough enough promised votes to win, however, people were so surprised and turned off by Mr Kelly's arrogant speech that they decided to support for Mr Shultz instead. It looks like ...more
By goldenrod (505), southampton on Jun 3, 11 10:21 AM
Both the look and the attack-dog lunge remind me a little of Sean Hannity. Equally unsavory.
By fidelis (199), westhampton beach on Jun 13, 11 9:18 AM