For the third local election cycle in a row, Riverhead Republicans will enter the home stretch of the campaign under new leadership.
Party chairman Remy Bell is stepping aside, he told RiverheadLOCAL Friday. Bell, 62, cited health reasons for his decision not to seek another term at the helm of the local GOP.
The town Republican committee will elect new leadership at is biennial re-organizational meeting Wednesday night.
Committee treasurer Tammy Robinkoff of Riverhead is running for the post unopposed. Riverhead Republican Club president Richard Miller is seeking election as vice chairman, also unopposed.
This will mark the sixth time in 10 years the Republican committee elects a new leader, not including a three-month interim chairman who served in early 2011. Bruce Stuke was chairman of the committee for a decade. He passed away in January 2008.
“It’s been an interesting two years,” Bell said.
Bell took over in the midst of a very contentious local election season in 2015 that saw a bruising battle for the Republican nomination for town supervisor between incumbent Supervisor Sean Walter and Councilwoman Jodi Giglio. The committee backed Giglio and Walter mounted a primary challenge, which Giglio narrowly won. But Walter ran on the Conservative Party line and bested both Giglio and Democrat Anthony Coates in a three-way race that November.
Walter and Giglio are both running for re-election this year. They are joined by Frank Beyrodt, an owner of DeLea Sod Farms.
Robinkoff may be dealing with a three-way race for town supervisor again. Councilman John Dunleavy, who was term-limited out of office this year, is seeking to run for town supervisor on the Libertarian Party line. His nominating petitions were ruled invalid by the Suffolk County elections commissioners for an error in his street address. Dunleavy has filed a lawsuit to overturn the commissioners’ decision. Tomorrow is the first day the action is on the court calendar; the parties are scheduled to appear before Supreme Court Justice Robert Quinlan tomorrow in Riverhead at 2 p.m.