Tomorrow is Election Day in New York State with various town and county offices offices up for grabs.

Locally, voters will be electing two members of the Riverhead Town Board, one assessor, and the superintendent of highways. In addition, voters will elect a county legislator, a county district attorney and county sheriff. Four State Supreme Court seats in Suffolk County are also open. Voters will also be asked to weigh in on three ballot propositions tomorrow.

Polling places will open and 6 a.m. and remain open until 9 p.m. tomorrow night. If you don’t know your polling location, you can find it on the N.Y. State voter search website maintained by the state board of elections. You can also use this site to verify your registration.

There were 23,305 registered voters in the Town of Riverhead as of Nov. 1, according to the N.Y. State Board of Elections. That’s an increase of 2,293 registered voters over 2015, the last local election year. In 2015, 36 percent of registered voters turned out to cast a ballot.

In terms of party affiliation, the town’s 23,305 registered voters break down this way: 36 percent Republican, 27 percent Democratic, 28 percent unaffiliated, 5 percent Independence, and 3 percent Conservative.

Town Supervisor

Two-year term, $115,148 annual salary

Laura Jens-Smith, 54, of Laurel, is running on the Democratic, Independence, Working Families, and Women’s Equality Party lines. Jens-Smith grew up in Port Jefferson Station. A registered nurse, she received her associate degree at Phillips Beth Israel School of Nursing and her bachelor’s degree from Pace University. She worked in NYC hospitals and moved to Laurel full-time in 2002. She is a member and current president of the Mattituck-Cutchogue Board of Education. She is married and the mother of two children.

Sean Walter, 51, of Wading River, is seeking re-election to his fifth term as town supervisor, a post he has held since 2010. A registered Conservative, he is running on the Republican and Conservative party lines. Walter served as deputy town attorney from 2000 to 2006. Prior to that he worked as an environmental manager for the 106th Rescue Wing in Westhampton and in the waste management department in the Town of Brookhaven. Walter grew up in Coram, holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental science from Binghamton University and a law degree from St. John’s University. He has a private law practice in Wading River, where he has lived since 1992. He is married and the father of three sons.

Editor’s note: Jens-Smith and Walter are the only supervisor candidates on the ballot but three-term councilman John Dunleavy, 76, of Calverton is running a write-in campaign for town supervisor.

Town Council

Four-year term, annual salary $48,955

Frank Beyrodt, 50, of Baiting Hollow, is running on the Republican and Conservative lines. Beyrodt us a member of the third generation of the DeLea sod family. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Pace University and a master’s degree from LIU/Post. He’s the past president and current executive board member of the Long Island Farm Bureau and is on the board of directors of the Island Harvest food bank. He is co-chair of the New York State Advisory Council on Agriculture. He is married and the father of three children.

Jodi Giglio, 49, of Baiting Hollow is running for a third term of office on the Republican, Conservative and Independence party lines. She owns a permit expediting and construction management business. Giglio has lived in Riverhead for nearly 20 years. She grew up in Wantagh and California, and moved back to New York when she was 19 years old. Widowed at age 27, she remarried in 2000 and moved to Riverhead. She attended Stony Brook University part-time. Giglio, first elected to the town board in 2009, ran and lost in a three-way race for supervisor in 2015. She is married and the mother of three children.

Catherine Kent, 61, of Baiting Hollow, is running on the Democratic, Independence, Women’s Equality and Working Families lines. A lifelong Riverhead resident, Kent is a retired teacher who spent her 31-year career in the Riverhead Central School District. She is a Riverhead High School graduate and earned a bachelor’s degree from Central Methodist University and a master’s degree from Stony Brook University. She is the mother of three adult children.

Michele Lynch, 67, of Riverhead is running on the Democratic, Working Families and Women’s Equality party lines. Lynch worked for 20 years at Peconic Bay Medical Center, and then spent 17 years working for a union that represents health care workers in hospitals and nursing homes. Lynch is married and the mother of one son.



Highway Superintendent
Four-year term, $94,803 annual salary

George Woodson, 56, of Riverhead is running for re-election on the Democratic, Independence, Working Families lines. First elected in 2007, Woodson has handily defeated opponents in each of his re-election bids. Born and raised in Riverhead, Woodson attended Riverhead public schools and graduated from Riverhead High School. He served in the U.S. Army after high school and then went to work for the town highway department as a laborer. Woodson worked his way up the ladder in the highway department, culminating in his election to the superintendent’s post a decade ago. He 
is a longtime volunteer in and ex-chief of the Riverhead Fire Department. 

Editor’s note: Woodson is the only candidate for highway superintendent on the ballot, but William Van Helmond of Jamesport, who was nominated by the Riverhead Republican Committee to run for the post but withdrew from the race, is running a write-in campaign.

Tax Assessor
Four-year term, one open seat, $83,846 annual salary

Susan Ambro, 58, of Wading River, is running on the Democratic, Independence and Working Families party lines. She is an attorney with the Suffolk County Legal Aid Society. She is a graduate of the University of Bridgeport law school. 

Laverne Tennenberg, 59, of Riverhead, is running on the Republican and Conservative party lines. She was first elected assessor in 1989 and serves as chairwoman of the board of assessors. 
A Riverhead native, she is a graduate of Hofstra University and holds the N.Y. state designation of professional assessor.


Editor’s note: This article has been amended post-publication to correct a misidentification of town offices that will be filled in the Nov. 7 election.

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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.