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Parties line up candidates for Brookhaven special election

Republican Theresa Laucella will face Democrat Jonathan Kornreich

Republican Theresa Laucella will face Democrat Jonathan Kornreich in the March 23 election for a seat on the Brookhaven Town Board. Credit: James Escher / John Lennon

Brookhaven Republicans have named a Stony Brook community volunteer to run in a special election for a vacant town board seat.

Theresa Laucella, 48, will face Democrat Jonathan Kornreich in the March 23 election to replace Valerie Cartright in Brookhaven's 1st Council District. Cartright, a Democrat, resigned in December after winning a seat last year on the State Supreme Court bench.

Jesse Garcia, chairman of the Suffolk and Brookhaven GOP committees, said Laucella has been a Girl Scout leader and active in community beautification and cleanup campaigns. Laucella could not be reached for comment.

"Theresa Laucella is the kind of woman we want to see in government representing our residents," Garcia said in a statement. "As a working mother who is an active volunteer in our community, she will be a common sense voice on the town board to hold the line on taxes, keep our town an affordable place to live, safe for our children, and work with [town Supervisor] Ed Romaine to continue to preserve our environment for generations to come."

The winner of the special election will complete Cartright's unexpired four-year term, which ends Dec. 31, 2023. Early voting in the race begins March 13. Only residents of the council district, which includes North Shore communities such as Setauket and Port Jefferson, may vote.

Brookhaven Democrats had announced earlier this month that Kornreich, 51, a Stony Brook resident who owns a property management and residential construction business, would run for the town board seat.

Kornreich, a Three Village school board member and president of the Three Village Civic Association, said in an interview he would focus on planning and traffic issues if he is elected.

"I’ve worked hard with a lot of organizations. … I think I’m well known," Kornreich said. "I feel like lots of people know me, and I think I’ve demonstrated over the last 15 years that I will work hard for the community and build consensus to get things done."

If elected, Kornreich would be the only Democrat on Brookhaven's seven-member town board. He said he would try to find a way to work with the board's six Republican members.

"It doesn’t matter what party they’re in, I have to get along with them," Kornreich said. "I have to build consensus because that’s the only way I’m going to deliver results for the people of our district. I’ll find common ground with them on the things that I can."

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