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Brookhaven Democrats make their selection for town supervisor's race

Doug Dittko, seen here in an Oct. 5,

Doug Dittko, seen here in an Oct. 5, 2003 photo, has been named to run as a Democrat for Brookhaven supervisor in 2015. Credit: Patrick Oehler

Democrat Douglas Dittko will try to unseat Republican Brookhaven Town Supervisor Edward P. Romaine this fall.

Dittko, 64, of Manorville, a former town planning board member who works for the Suffolk County Board of Elections, lost two previous town board races. He could not be reached for comment Friday.

Brookhaven Democratic Committee chairman Anthony Parlatore confirmed Dittko would be the party's candidate to run against Romaine. The town Democratic committee did not name a candidate for supervisor when it held a May 20 nominating convention.

Romaine, who won a special election in November 2012 and was re-elected in 2013, said he has known Dittko for many years. "I look forward to discussing the issues in this campaign, and I respect my opponent," he said.

Dittko, who publishes a horse magazine, is a former president of both the Manorville-East Moriches Civic Association and Affiliated Brookhaven Community Organizations. He served on the town planning board, of which he was briefly chairman, from June 2006 to March 2013, a town spokesman said.

As a civic leader, Dittko was a frequent critic of town zoning and planning policies, such as a 2005 revision of codes regarding apartment complexes.

Town Republican chairman Jesse Garcia said Dittko has an "uphill climb" against Romaine, who Garcia said led efforts to establish a townwide vacant-housing registry and demolish zombie houses. "Ed Romaine has built a public service record where he has stabilized this town," he said.

Dittko lost races to represent the town's 6th District in 2003 and 2010. In the latter, he ran unsuccessfully to succeed Romaine's son, Keith, who died in office.

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