The political feuding in Sag Harbor is about even less. Ryan Horn, one of three candidates seeking two village board seats, challenged the nominating petitions of his opponents, something Horn - who has a degree in political science and who works as a community advocate in Southampton Town Hall - did almost without thinking, acting on well-honed political instinct and training.

Besides, he adds, some of the petitions he challenged didn't even spell the name "Sag Harbor" correctly.

But his complaint incurred the wrath of his two opponents. It was not, they say, the kind of thing one does to neighbors in Sag Harbor.

"This [vote] is only open to residents," candidate Bruce Stafford said. "This is a small, quaint village. When people stop and give up two minutes of their precious time, if their pen runs out of ink and they don't cross a 't' or dot an 'i' . . . you don't take away their vote. We all know he [Horn] was born and bred here. He should know the people as well as I do."

Horn says he was surprised at the reaction, since all he did was ask that the law be followed, a law that requires people who sign candidate petitions to sign them in the same way their voter registration forms are signed - with or without a middle initial, for example, and no using "Ellie" for "Ellen."

Horn, 29, a legislative aide for Southampton Town, is a volunteer at the Sag Harbor fire department museum and said he is proud to be a fifth-generation resident of the village. He holds an MBA in public administration from Cornell University.

This is his first race for elected office, and he says he wants to make village government more responsive to the needs of village residents.

Stafford, 52, a youth league coach who is chairman of the board of trustees of the United Methodist Church, serves on the governing board of the village's volunteer fire department.

He says housing is too costly in the village and new alternatives should be explored, and that it is important to keep taxes low.

This is his first race for elected office.

Robbie Stein, 62, is an incumbent on the board. Stein is a child psychologist who says he has worked on the village board to make it easier for people to create accessory apartments in their homes and to encourage the board to do more community outreach work.

Voting is Tuesday from noon to 9 p.m. at the firehouse on Brick Kiln Road.

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