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Jul 21, 2009 8:05 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Schneiderman's opponents back out of race

Jul 21, 2009 8:05 PM

The road to reelection for Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman became a lot less bumpy this week, as Democratic and Republican challengers Thomas Henry and Robert Coyle dropped out of the race, leaving an open slot on the Democratic ticket that could very well be filled by Mr. Schneiderman.

Prior to this week, Mr. Schneiderman, who defected from the Republican Party to the Independence Party in the summer of 2008, had sewn up only the Independence Party line and was facing a potential five-way race. But three of his four potential opponents dropped out on July 20, the final day to withdraw their names from the ballot, and Mr. Schneiderman also picked up the Southampton Town Republican Party’s endorsement.

If Mr. Schneiderman gets the Democratic nomination, his only impediments to an uncontested run would be a primary for the Democratic Party line, to be sought by George Guldi, who held the 2nd Legislative District seat before Mr. Schneiderman was elected in 2003, and who is facing felony fraud and grand larceny charges for his alleged involvement in a $50 million mortgage fraud scandal.

Conservative Party Chairman Edward Walsh, who could not be reached for comment, told Newsday on Monday that his party will withdraw the name of Conservative candidate Susan Betsy Heckman of Westhampton and replace her with Mr. Schneiderman.

“Jay is in consideration” for the Democratic Party nomination, said Suffolk County Democratic Chairman Richard Schaeffer. “The Southampton committee has been lobbying for him.”

Mr. Schaeffer said that he plans to talk with town party leaders in Southampton, Brookhaven and East Hampton before announcing whether Mr. Schneiderman will be the Democratic nominee, a decision he must make before a Friday deadline to place another candidate on the ballot. He said that he expected to announce the party’s candidate by Wednesday.

“There’s been some static from East Hampton,” he said of the delay. “There’s a concern for past history” between Mr. Schneiderman and the East Hampton Town Democrats. Mr. Schneiderman served as East Hampton Town supervisor as a Republican between 2000 and 2003.

Mr. Schaeffer said that Mr. Schneiderman’s name, which would appear above the East Hampton Town Board candidates on the Democratic Party line, could prove beneficial to the East Hampton Town Democrats in a highly contentious Town Board race. “The case for having him is a strong one,” he said.

Mr. Guldi’s bid for his former seat does not sit well with Mr. Schaeffer, who said that the challenger is not in any way in consideration to be the party’s nominee.

“My advice to George is that he should take care of his personal business and leave the public’s business alone,” Mr. Schaeffer said.

Though Mr. Schneiderman said Monday that he had received the backing of Southampton Town Republicans, the town’s party chairman, Marcus Stinchi, did not return calls for comment. Southampton Town Supervisor Linda Kabot—in announcing a shuffling of the GOP ticket at the town level, which gave her the nomination for reelection—confirmed in a press release that Mr. Schneiderman was given the Republican and Conservative nominations.

Suffolk County GOP Chairman Harold Withers also did not return calls for comment, though he told Newsday on Monday that Mr. Schneiderman will be the county Republicans’ nominee.

“I’m feeling pretty good,” said Mr. Schneiderman of his chance of winning the Democratic Party line. “If they put another name up, George Guldi will get it by default. I would crush him. I’ve beat him in the past, but that was before he was indicted.”

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I wouldn't be so quick to feel so good so fast Mr.Schneiderman...it looks that the GOP is helping the Democrats win local elections...George Guldi with the 50 mil. in mortgage fraude charges and in the papers he is running...I think he is the choice of the one with their pulse on voting booths ( and then all the real estate they own can be sold as rentals---always making money...)
By UNITED states CITIZEN (207), SOUTHAMPTON on Jul 21, 09 1:10 PM
Schneiderman is a republican in dem's clothing
By dagdavid (646), southampton on Jul 21, 09 3:12 PM
Jay Schneiderman is not a Republican, Democrat, Green, Independent, Liberal, Conservative or what have you. Mr. Schneiderman has a deep political identity crisis that makes him try one party then another, then another one after that. Now it's the Democrats turn to learn about his allegiance. Maybe he will find himself.
By Scratch (26), Sag Harbor on Jul 21, 09 11:36 PM