A veteran Suffolk County legislator and a former congressional candidate are among the four Islip Republicans seeking to challenge two GOP incumbents for seats on the town board in November, officials said.
The prospective candidates applied for the GOP endorsement at a Monday night candidate screening for the seats held by Trish Bergin Weichbrodt and Steven J. Flotteron, who are running for re-election.
The screening -- which was closed to the media -- follows a contentious few weeks for the town board, which tried to strip control of hiring, firing and union contract negotiations from Islip Republican Supervisor Tom Croci.
The board dropped the proposal under public pressure -- an embarrassing episode for the local GOP that some of the applicants said spurred them to run.
Cameron Alden, a staff attorney at the Islip Community Development Corp., said name recognition would help him win.
"Almost everybody on the board is light on experience," said Alden, 62, of Islip, who reached the 12-year term limit in the Suffolk Legislature. "There was really no reason that had to happen if you're working with each other. Even if you had strong opinions, you don't go down a path and have to retreat from that path. Experience would be well-used at this point."
Paul Mourino, who attempted to run for Rep. Peter King's congressional seat last year, said that as a board member he would concentrate on economics. "There's no need for us to eat each other like political cannibals," said Mourino, 34, of West Sayville, who works in hotel security. "We have to have our priorities in order."
Town GOP chairman Frank A. Tantone said he expects the committee to endorse its candidates in about a month and said the prospective candidates' talk of recent political infighting is "concerning."
"Everybody has something of a little internal disagreement sometimes," Tantone said. "We can't ignore the issue. Hopefully we're going to get past it."
Also applying are Glen Carballo, an Islip banker, and Alison Karppi, a Bayport resident and Islip Housing Authority employee. Carballo, Karppi and Bergin Weichbrodt did not return messages for comment.
Flotteron, who is seeking his third term, said he was confident he and Bergin Weichbrodt will get the party nod. "We've worked good together," he said.