A schoolteacher and a small-business owner have been selected by Islip Democrats to challenge two incumbent Republicans in November for seats on the town board, the Islip Town Democratic Committee announced Monday.
The screening committee has designated Dafny Irizarry, of East Islip, and Ken Mangan, of Sayville, to face GOP council members Trish Bergin Weichbrodt and Steven J. Flotteron, who are expected to win their party’s nod. The Democratic committee is expected to confirm Irizarry and Mangan during its convention next month.
“Dafny and Ken are two family- and community-oriented professionals, with impressive credentials and accomplishments, and a history of service to people, especially those in need,” said Gerry Pallotta, chairman of the town Democratic committee. He said his candidates will seek to return transparency and accountability to Town Hall.
Irizarry, a teacher of English as a second language in the Central Islip School District, said in a statement she would seek to be a “voice for all Islip residents,” and said the Republican-dominated town board’s decision to raise taxes 28 percent last year and “anemic economic development efforts only makes the future for our young residents and all of Islip that much more difficult.”
Mangan, the owner of a bread company and a former Suffolk County senior advocate, said in a statement he wants to be a “fresh, new voice” in town government.
“As a small-business owner and civic leader, I will fight for targeted property tax relief for lower- and middle-class homeowners, and provide the services we expect from our town government,” he said.
Republican town chairman Frank A. Tantone said the tax increase would be a tough attack line for the Democrats because, he said, the spending of the previous Democratic administration of former Supervisor Phil Nolan was to blame.
“We wish them well in the race,” Tantone said. “It should be an interesting race and we look forward to a hard campaign and the voters will have a choice come November.”
Rich Schaffer, Suffolk County Democratic Committee chairman, added, “I am excited about the vision and forward thinking that Dafny and Ken represent for the future of Islip Town.”