Riverhead Chamber of Commerce president Robert Kern at a press conference in June outside the L.I. Aquarium in Riverhead. File photo: Denise Civiletti

Riverhead Chamber of Commerce president Robert Kern has been nominated for town councilman on the Republican ticket.

Supervisor Yvette Aguiar secured her party’s nomination for a second term of office.

“I will remain committed to moving Riverhead forward,” said Aguiar in a brief acceptance speech to the Riverhead Republican committee, which held its convention tonight at the Riverhead VFW. She spoke of the challenges the town has faced during the pandemic.

“I will continue to focus on Riverhead’s future, balanced by maintaining the East End quality of life, limiting crime, supporting all our residents, supporting our farmers, and supporting our businesses,” she said.

Riverhead Republican candidates Robert Kern, left, Supervisor Yvette Aguiar, Councilman Ken Rothwell, assessor Lavern Tennenberg and Mike Zaleski. Courtesy photo: Vic Prusinowski

Councilman Ken Rothwell, who was appointed by the town board last month to fill the remainder of former councilwoman Jodi Giglio’s term, was nominated by the Republicans for a four-year term in his own right.

Kern said his focus will be on economic development.

“Being in this town for over 20 years, the economic development train was coming through Riverhead and not many people were buying tickets,” Kern said.

Assessor Laverne Tennenberg was nominated for a ninth term of office.

Deputy highway superintendent Mike Zaleski won the GOP nomination for highway superintendent.

The Republican committee gathered both in person at the VFW and via Zoom. Attorney Stephen Losquadro, counsel to the Republican county committee, assisted Riverhead Chairwoman Tammy Robinkoff as parliamentarian. Participation and voting by committee members via video conference was authorized by an executive order of the governor. Several committee members participated remotely.

Aguiar was unopposed for the nomination to seek a second term. Councilman Tim Hubbard, who was considering a run for supervisor, had withdrawn his name from consideration in the weeks before the convention.

There were three other candidates for a the GOP town council nomination: Mainstream House owner Robert Hartmann Jr., school board member Brian Connelly and BID board secretary Isabelle Gonzalez. Only Hartmann won votes for the nomination, but came up short behind Rothwell and Kern.

Correction: This article has been amended to correct a misstatement concerning Isabelle Gonzalez’s role with the Business Improvement District Management Association. She is the board secretary, not a former board member as originally stated.

Support local journalism.
Now more than ever, the survival of quality local journalism depends on your support. Our community faces unprecedented economic disruption, and the future of many small businesses are under threat, including our own. It takes time and resources to provide this service. We are a small family-owned operation, and we will do everything in our power to keep it going. But today more than ever before, we will depend on your support to continue. Support RiverheadLOCAL today. You rely on us to stay informed and we depend on you to make our work possible.

Denise Civiletti
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.