Smithtown Supervisor Patrick Vecchio, a Republican who is fighting for his political life, took the unusual step of mailing out petitions to supporters to help him and his slate get on the GOP primary ballot.
A letter headlined “Petition Alert” asked backers to get signatures on blank petition sheets with room for 20 names.
A separate page listed 13 steps on how to fill out petitions properly. On the bottom, it emphasized, “Do not return these petitions to Republican headquarters.”
Conrad Chayes, the Vecchio slate’s town clerk candidate, said they sent out the mailing to about 120 of the 180 town GOP committee members and have been getting “good response.”
Vecchio and two incumbent town board members were dumped at the town GOP convention. Edward Wehrheim, backed by Smithtown GOP leader Bill Ellis, was nominated for supervisor with the help of proxies collected by the party organization.
“Many committee members returned their proxies to Republican headquarters unaware of how their votes would be cast,” Vecchio said. “We heard from many their votes were cast for candidates they can’t support.”