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Environmentalists seek Democrat to challenge Jay Schneiderman

Environmentalists opposed to the proposed 600-acre Hills development in East Quogue are seeking a Democrat to run a September primary against Southampton Supervisor Jay Schneiderman.

Richard Amper, an organizer of the Environmental Voters Forum, said he has talked with two potential challengers to Schneiderman, an Independence Party member who runs with Democratic support. The group hopes to name a candidate by June 6, the first day nominating petitions can be circulated. A minimum of 500 signatures is needed to qualify for the ballot.

Amper said environmentalists are upset because Schneiderman has “argued on the both sides” of the Hills issue and refuses to take a stand. “The public correctly hates it and he is the only person besides the developer who seems to promote it,” Amper said of the Hills.

The project would include construction of 160 housing units, a golf course and clubhouse on the largest remaining East End pine barrens tract.

Gordon Herr, Southampton Democratic leader, said he had no concerns about Amper’s effort. Herr said Schneiderman has done a “fantastic job managing the town” and has wide support. “I don’t know if they can find anyone qualified or electable,” he said.

Rick Brand

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