Oyster Bay Democrats won’t hold a primary election for their town supervisor candidate after two contenders dropped their challenges to Marc Herman, the party’s choice.
Bayville attorney John Mangelli, 50, and Jericho attorney Jonathan Clarke, 40, both said Monday they still planned to run for supervisor but not as Democrats.
Herman, 63, a dentist and former Syosset school board president, said Monday his opponents’ decision to not pursue a Democratic primary lets the party focus on its “anti-corruption” message.
“The best things is that it presents a unified Democratic party and we can concentrate more on real reform,” Herman said.
Mangelli, who in 2015 lost to former Town Supervisor John Venditto by 99 votes as the Democratic candidate, said he had difficulties getting enough signatures to force a primary this year. Newsday previously reported that Mangelli was passed over as the party choice because of a past personal bankruptcy that Democratic leadership considered a liability.
Instead, Mangelli is running on the Reform Party line in November. The county board of elections confirmed Monday that he had submitted the required number of petitions to get on the ballot.
“I’m the only true independent,” Mangelli said Monday. He said he “wants to reform all of Oyster Bay without party politics. I won’t be beholden to anybody.”
Clarke faced a dispute with the board of elections over his party registration — he is currently registered as a “blank” — and decided against a legal challenge.
Clarke said he has started collecting signatures to get on the ballot as an independent candidate and would not owe favors to the party.
“When you get in through a party system, you’re going to have to pay the party bosses back by hiring people,” Clarke said.
Republican Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino, a former state Assemblyman who was appointed on Jan. 30 to replace Venditto, who resigned after being indicted on federal corruption charges, said voters should look to his experience.
“I welcome everyone in the race, but I feel very strongly my resume is head and shoulders above anyone,” Saladino said.