Islip Town board member Trish Bergin has declared her candidacy for the Suffolk County Legislature seat held by fellow Republican Tom Cilmi.
Bergin, 49, of East Islip, and Cilmi both must leave their respective posts after this year because of term limits.
Bergin, a 12-year councilwoman and former News12 reporter, announced her campaign Thursday in a social media post to supporters.
"I’ve been enjoying my time in government working for the people in the Town of Islip, and I’d like to continue that effort," she said Friday in a telephone interview. "I’m very hopeful and optimistic that I will win this election."
Suffolk Democrats have not named a candidate for Cilmi's seat. The district includes Great River and parts of Oakdale, Bohemia, Bay Shore, Islandia, Hauppauge, Brentwood, Central Islip, East Islip, Islip, Islip Terrace and Ronkonkoma.
Bergin, a former deputy supervisor, focused on improving the quality of life for town residents and touted expanded use of green technologies such as geothermal heating and solar energy.
Bergin apologized in January 2018 after posting a Facebook message that referred to President Donald Trump's vulgar mocking of Haiti, El Salvador and African nations. Bergin's post, which sought travel recommendations for those places, was criticized by both Democrats and Republicans, including Islip Supervisor Angie Carpenter.
Bergin said her post was intended as a joke and apologized to those who took offense.