Southampton Town Board members have scheduled a Jan. 26 special election to replace former Councilman Bradley Bender, who pleaded guilty to selling prescription painkillers and resigned Nov. 24.
Town board members voted 4-0 at a special meeting Monday to schedule the election, without commenting.
Bender, 54, of Northampton, said in his guilty plea in federal court that he obtained oxycodone pills from a Riverhead physician assistant and resold some for cash and steroids to an unnamed co-conspirator. Pills were then resold to other addicts and dealers, officials said.
Bender, an Independence Party member, was part of the town board’s three-person Independence-Democratic majority along with Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst and Councilwoman Bridget Fleming. He served half of a four-year term that began in 2014.
Southampton Democrats are considering three candidates to replace Bender and will make a decision by early next week, Democratic chairman Gordon Herr said Tuesday. One of the candidates is Hampton Bays resident Julie Lofstad, who lost her bid for town board on Election Day, he said.
“We have to make a decision fairly quickly,” Herr said.
Southampton GOP chairman Bill Wright could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday.
Throne-Holst and Fleming are both vacating their seats at year’s end. Throne-Holst, a longtime Independence Party member who registered as a Democrat this year, declined to run for a fourth term to instead seek the Democratic nomination for Congress. Fleming, a Democrat, was elected to the Suffolk Legislature on Election Day.
Suffolk Legis. Jay Schneiderman (I-Southampton), whom Fleming is replacing, was elected to take over as supervisor next year. Democrat John Bouvier was elected to replace Fleming on the town board.