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New Brookhaven chair for Independence Party

The Independence Party has named David Shelton, a town highway department worker, as its new Brookhaven chairman.

Shelton is the son-in-law of Peter Cris, the former town Independence chariman who stepped down four months ago and his wife, the late Carol Cris, who was party leader from 1998 until her death in 2009. Shelton was named leader the day after Republican Dan Losquadro, who ran with Independence Party backing, won the job of highway superintendent earlier this month.

Shelton’s thorniest issue likely to be the town board race in the third district where Republican town board member Kathleen Walsh changed her registration to the Independence Party earlier this year. However, Walsh, who lost the highway race, is in a ,kind of political no-man’s land because her party switch does not officially take effect until after Election Day in November. She also says she will be seeking the Democratic line to run for re-election. A leading GOP contender to challenge Walsh is Kevin LaValle, brother of Suffiolk GOP chairman John Jay LaValle.

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