There’s a new face in local politics this year.
Yvette Aguiar of Riverhead is seeking the Republican nomination for town supervisor.
If she wins her party’s nomination, Aguiar will be the first Latina to seek elected office in the town.
The 59-year-old retired New York City police officer is a licensed real estate agent and an associate professor at American Military University, teaching online courses in management and security management.
In her 20-year career at NYPD, she was a supervisor in the counterterrorism unit established by the department after the Sept. 11 terrorist attack. She was a first responder at the World Trade Center and was injured in the line of duty that day.
Aguiar holds a PhD in business administration from Northcentral University, a master of public administration and a bachelor of science in criminal justice from John Jay College.
Born and raised in the Bronx, she lived in New York City nearly all of her adult life. She moved to Riverhead five years ago and has gotten involved in the Elks Lodge and Lions Club. She is married and the mother of an adult son.
“My goal is to try to work as holistically as we can — regardless of party, race or opinion. That’s how government should run,” Aguiar said.
“At times, there appear to be too much drama, wasting taxpayers’ money, and inefficiency,” she said.
“My experience and my beyond-reproach reputation, along with my extensive experience in management, make me the a viable candidate to serve my town,” she said.
The daughter of Puerto Rican natives, Aguiar said she has lived the American dream.
“I started kindergarten speaking only Spanish,” she said. Her family was of very humble means. Her mother, a seamstress, made all her clothes for school. But they worked hard and instilled in her a work ethic that has guided her throughout her life, she said.
“I have the ability, the desire and the intellect,” Aguiar said.
Aguiar says she’s an “analyst, a researcher,” who digs deep into things before forming opinions.
Riverhead Councilman James Wooten is also planning to screen for the Republican committee supervisor nomination tomorrow. He cannot seek re-election as councilman due to the town’s term limits law. See prior story.
Democrat Laura Jens-Smith will seek election to her second term of office as supervisor. Democratic committee chairwoman Marjorie Acevedo said candidates were already being screened for the other offices, including two town council seats.
Councilman Tim Hubbard said he will seek a second term as councilman. Frank Beyrodt, an owner and operator of DeLea Sod Farm, who ran for a council slot in 2017, said today he will make a second run for office this year. He is seeking the Republican committee’s designation.
Incumbent Republican assessor Paul Leszczynski, who has served in that position for more than 20 years, said today he has decided to retire and will not seek re-election this year.
The Republican committee will hold its nominating convention on Monday, Feb. 11, Republican chairwoman Tammy Robinkoff said. Acevedo said last week she did not yet have a date for the Democratic committee’s nominating convention but expected it would be this week or next. The local political party committees have to begin circulating nominating petitions much earlier than in past years, because the New York state and local primary, previously held in September, has been moved to June, to coincide with the federal primary date.
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