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Host of familiar names on Suffolk ballots

In towns across Long Island, residents will take

In towns across Long Island, residents will take to the polls on Nov. 5. Credit: AP

When Suffolk voters go to the polls on Nov. 5, many of them will find a host of familiar names running for town offices.

The ballot is dominated this year by public figures whose hands have been on the tillers of power for decades. They include seven incumbent supervisors, several of whom face challenges from past opponents or members of their town boards.

In Smithtown, Republican Patrick Vecchio is seeking to extend his Long Island-record 36 years as the town's leader. Vecchio is being challenged by Republican Councilman Robert Creighton, who is running on the Conservative line, and Democrat Steven Snair, an attorney.

In Huntington, Democrat Frank Petrone -- who has been in office for 20 years -- is opposed by Councilman Eugene Cook of the Independence Party.

Those races bear watching, said LIU Post political science professor Stanley B. Klein, because Vecchio and Petrone have been in office "an abnormally long period of time."

He added that longevity is a double-edged sword for voters: While some prefer candidates with extensive experience, he said, "There are those who say . . . it's time for a change."

Besides the supervisor races, voters across Suffolk will cast ballots on candidates for council, clerk, highway superintendent, assessor and town justice seats. In all, more than 100 candidates are running for 57 posts.

Here are snapshots of the major races in each town:

Babylon. Supervisor Richard H. Schaffer, the county Democratic chairman, is running for a four-year term after winning a special election last year to complete the term of Steven Bellone, who became county executive. Schaffer is opposed by Republican long shot Christopher G. Connors.

Brookhaven. Republican Supervisor Edward P. Romaine, who won a special election last year after Democrat Mark Lesko's resignation, is facing Democrat Vivian Viloria-Fisher. Romaine and Viloria-Fisher served together for several years in the county legislature.

East Hampton. Democrat Larry Cantwell is the sole candidate to replace Republican Supervisor William Wilkinson, who is not running. Cantwell rejected Republican cross-endorsement and then declined to accept a write-in GOP primary victory.

Huntington. In addition to the supervisor race, Conservative Peter S. Gunther is attempting to unseat longtime Democratic highway Superintendent William J. Naughton.

Islip. Republican council members Steven J. Flotteron and Trish Bergin-Weichbrodt face challenges from Democrats Astrid Fidelia and George P. Hafele.

Riverhead. Republican Supervisor Sean M. Walter is opposed by Democrat Angela M. DeVito.

Shelter Island. Democratic Supervisor James Dougherty is unopposed.

Smithtown. Five candidates are running for two open council seats.

Southampton. For the third straight election, Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst is facing former supervisor Linda Kabot. Throne-Holst, an Independence Party member, kept her seat in 2011 by defeating Republican Kabot, who had been unseated by Throne-Holst in 2009.

Southold. Republican Councilman James Dinizio Jr. is running for one of two open council seats; the other candidates are Democrats Mary Eisenstein and Ronald J. Rothman, and Republican Robert Ghosio.

With Mitchell Freedman

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