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There won’t be a Democratic primary in the Second Assembly District.

Rocky Point attorney Jennifer Maertz today announced she is withdrawing her candidacy in opposition to the party designee John McManmon.

In a press release issued Friday, the Maertz campaign said it “recognized that the number of signatures that could be gathered by the July 11th deadline put the campaign at great risk of an expected challenge” by McManmon.

“It is not worth the time and expense of litigation, particularly where there are conflict of interest issues that have not been addressed by the State Board of Elections,” according to an unnamed campaign spokesperson quoted in the press release.

The press release said “a Maertz supporter” asked the state board of elections to provide oversight for the election, because McManmon’s mother, Jeanne O’Rourke, is a Suffolk County Board of Elections official, who “would be ruling on the petitions and election results of a direct descendant,” creating “a potential conflict of interest.”

The state BOE “declined to provide oversight or otherwise remedy the conflict of interest situation,” according to the press release.

2013 0712 maerts jennifer file“We decided to regroup and focus on the 2014 election cycle, in hopes that these oversight issues will be resolved and that specific safeguards will be put in place to avoid any conflicts of interest and to ensure a fair electoral process,” said Maertz, signaling that she intends to run next year.

The 2013 election is to fill the unexpired term of Dan Losquadro, who was re-elected in November but then ran for and was elected Brookhaven Town highway superintendent in a special election in March.

McManmon, the choice of the Democratic party committee, said tonight he’s glad he will now be able to focus his attention on the November general election, where he faces Republican opponent Anthony Palumbo of New Suffolk.

“We’re moving forward to the general election,” McManmon said. “Our campaign will be based on issues and based on substance,” he said, focusing on “pocketbook” and “quality of life” issues. “We need to maintain economic growth and push an economic agenda, while at the same time continue to preserve farms and open space.”

Riverhead Town Democratic chairperson Marjorie Acevedo said she was “delighted” Maertz had withdrawn and the Democrats would not be involved in a primary fight.

“The choice has been made. We’re moving forward and we’re going to win this race,” Acevedo said.

McManmon, 28, is making his first run for public office.  The Riverhead High School alumnus is a graduate of Columbia Law School and works as an associate at the Manhattan law firm of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley and McCoy LLP in New York City. He has taken a leave of absence from the firm to concentrate on the campaign, he said.

His Republican opponent, also a lawyer, is a former Suffolk County prosecutor. He holds a J.D. from St. John’s Law School and is a partner in the law firm of Goggins and Palumbo in Mattituck. He is married and the father of two children.


Photo captions: John McManmon (top) and Jennifer Maertz address commitee members assembled for the Riverhead Town Democratic Party convention May 23 in Riverhead.

RiverheadLOCAL photos by Courtney Blasl

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Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.