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Southampton Republicans elect Damon Hagan leader

Southampton Republicans elected Damon Hagan as the new town leader without opposition in a party convention Wednesday night, replacing William Wright, who was only re-elected to the post in September.

Hagan, 38, of East Quogue, a lawyer who practices in Patchogue, was chosen at the Villa Paul restaurant in Hampton Bays on Wednesday night in front of about 50 party committee members. He will complete Wright’s term, which runs to September 2017.

“We’re going to miss Bill, but Damon is a great guy and a talented individual who has been Bill’s right-hand man for the last few years,” said John Jay LaValle, Suffolk Republican chairman.

Hagan has been a party committee member for the past four years, and last fall ran a losing race for town board.

Wright stepped down as party chairman after the town GOP lost a special election last month to Democrat Julie Lofstad, who won with more than 60 percent of the vote with the help of the Conservative and Independence parties’ ballot lines.

Hagan said the loss had nothing to do with Wright’s exit, which he attributed to increased “family obligations.”

Despite recent rifts, Hagan said he wants to “build bridges and mend fences” with the minor party.

“I believe Republicans and Conservatives have far more common ground than with Democrats or the Independence parties.”

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