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Southampton GOP Ousts Two Trustee Candidates

Former Republican chair says Eric Shultz and Fred Havemeyer should not have accepted a Democratic cross-endorsement.

When Republican Southampton Trustees candidates and accepted a cross-endorsement from the town’s Democratic committee, they had no idea it would result in being ostracized by the town’s Republican party.

To their surprise last week, their faces were cropped out of a political Southampton GOP mailing.

“It doesn’t make sense," Havemeyer said. “We got their [GOP] full backing and they have chosen not to advertise us on their slate.”

Havemeyer says he believes it has something to do with the cross-endorsement both he and Shultz received from the town’s Democrats. “A lot of candidates get cross-endorsed," he said. "It means they are doing a good job. We were flattered. But, I think it has to be something more than that.”

Former GOP Chairman Ernest Wruck said the decision to leave the two incumbents out of Republican campaign literature relates directly to the cross-endorsement and nothing more.

Wruck said Shultz and Havemeyer never told anyone of their plans to accept the cross-endorsement and he asked both candidates to step down from the Democratic line. They refused, and they also refused to endorse the whole GOP line for the five trustee seats, he said.

By accepting a cross-endorsement, Wruck said that essentially Havemeyer and Shultz’s seats would be guaranteed while jeopardizing the chances of other Republican candidates who are only endorsed by one major party.

Also on the GOP line are incumbent Trustees Jon Semlear and Ed Warner and newcomer Scott Horowitz.

“There was nothing complicated about it and there was nothing Machiavellian and duplicitous,” Southampton Democratic Chairman Gordon Herr said of the cross-endorsement of Shultz and Havemeyer.

Herr said that Havemeyer and Shultz were added to the Democratic line after the party's original candidates, Marla Schwenk and Mike Anthony, dropped out of the race.

"We feel the board of trustees is and should be a nonpolitical body,” Herr said, explaining that the Democrats approached Shultz, the president of the trustee board, and Havemeyer, the treasurer/secretary, to offer them the spots on their ballot line.

Also on the Democratic line are incumbent Trustee Bill Pell and challengers Ed Bavlak and Janet Beck.

Shultz was unavailable for comment as of press time. He is on his honeymoon.

Theodore Hepp October 04, 2011 at 03:02 PM
Another outrage underlying the effort by the GOP to politicize and undermine any effort to obtain bipartisanship in our governance.

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