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Dems pick former lawmaker for Brookhaven supervisor

Former Suffolk lawmaker Vivian Viloria-Fisher has been selected as the Democratic candidate for Brookhaven Town supervisor this year, party leaders confirmed Thursday.

Viloria-Fisher, of Setauket, plans to challenge incumbent Republican Edward P. Romaine, her colleague in the county legislature who left that post for the vacated town supervisor seat in November.

A former teacher, Viloria-Fisher served in the legislature from 1999 until she was term-limited out at the end of 2011.

She said she was inspired to run by the town leadership's response to the February blizzard, when Romaine was out of town and it took days to get some roads plowed. "The whole snow debacle, I didn't like the way they handled it," she said Thursday.

She also criticized the GOP's domination of the town board and highway department, saying, "I don't believe it's good to have a monolithic government."

She pledged to break the partisan atmosphere at Town Hall. "You need to be able to work on both sides of the aisle," she said. "I want to bring a new face to Brookhaven."

Viloria-Fisher also said she would use her experience on the legislative budget committee to eliminate patronage jobs. "As an executive, I'd like to look at every line of the budget and trim the fat," she said.

Brookhaven Democratic head Anthony Parlatore said party leaders screened Viloria-Fisher on Tuesday. "She has tremendous experience with her years in the legislature," he said. "She is up on the issues. She's an extremely intelligent lady. I think she's going to be a tremendous asset."

The party plans to hold its nominating convention the day after Memorial Day, he said.

Brookhaven GOP leader Jesse Garcia said that as a legislator, Viloria-Fisher was a big spender. "She has not seen a tax or a fee that she hasn't hiked, and [she] placed a burden on taxpayers," Garcia said. "Her record shows she will increase spending and taxes by double digits."

He added, "I'm confident that voters will respond to the pro-taxpayer, pro-community, pro-job creation agenda that Ed Romaine will put forward in his campaign."

Romaine, of Center Moriches, declined to comment Thursday. He was scheduled to hold a fundraiser Thursday in Eastport to kick off his re-election campaign, according to his campaign Facebook page.

Romaine's first four months have been marked by a crackdown on illegal student housing, a green energy initiative, and criticism of his absence during the blizzard.

With Deon J. Hampton

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