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Tekulsky's the Next East Hampton Justice; Incumbent Assessor Retains Seat

Steven Tekulsky, a Democrat, will take over for retiring justice after beating out Republican Carl Irace for the position.

Eugene DePasquale III, left, and Steven Tekulsky, right at Rowdy Hall in East Hampton Credit: Taylor K. Vecsey
Eugene DePasquale III, left, and Steven Tekulsky, right at Rowdy Hall in East Hampton Credit: Taylor K. Vecsey
Democrats held on to key positions in Tuesday's election. In one of the most closely watched races in the Town of East Hampton this election season, Steven Tekulsky was elected the next East Hampton Town Justice on Tuesday. Meanwhile, fellow Democrat Eugene DePasquale III was re-elected as an East Hampton Town Assessor.

Tekulsky received 3,487 votes, or 59.55 percent with all 19 election districts reporting in. Challenger Carl Irace, a Republican, received 2,367 votes or 40.42 percent.

"Clearly, Steve Tekulsky has won handily, as has, for re-election, Eugene DePasquale for assessor," Supervisor Elect Larry Cantwell announced at about 10:30 p.m. to Democratic supporters at Rowdy Hall in East Hampton.

"I ran a hard and fair campaign and I'm very pleased that the voters heard my message and supported me. I look forward to serving the Town of East Hampton as their next town justice," Tekulsky said.

In front of the large group, which was also celebrating Kathee Burke-Gonzalez's election to the town board, Tekulsky thanked his family and supporters, in particular Cantwell, whom he called his best friend. "Without his support, none of this could have happened," he said.

Tekulsky promised to be "the fairest and best judge the town has ever seen," other than, he said with a laugh, Roger Walker, who had been in attendance.

Tekulsky will replace Justice Catherine A. Cahill, a Democrat and the senior town justice who is retiring after 20 years on the bench. She was the first woman elected to the seat, followed by Justice Lisa R. Rana, whom she will turn over the reigns to at the end of the year.

Rana was most recently re-elected on the Republican ticket in 2011. In 2007, Tekulsky, an attorney for 35 years, challenged Rana, losing by 330 votes.

Irace, an attorney in private practice who previously served an assistant district attorney in the narcotics bureau of the Bronx County district attorney's office from 2001 to 2010 before joining the Town of East Hampton for two years, waged a strong campaign. He went door to door and many neighborhoods introducing himself and handing out reminders to vote for him such as sponges and beer koozies.

Tekulsky, an East Hampton resident, had the backing of Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, a member of the Independence party, which endorsed Irace, and he was also endorsed by retired town justices James R. Ketcham and Walker.

Sen. Ken LaValle, R-Port Jefferson, and former Republican State Assemblyman John Behan, and his wife, Marilyn Behan, a lifelong Democrat who ran for East Hampton Town Board on the Independence Party ticket in 2011, came out in support of Irace.

Irace lives in Springs.

Assessor Race

Three-term incumbent Eugene DePasquale III, a Democrat, defeated Joseph Bloecker, who had the Republican and Independence party lines.

DePasquale took in 3,209 votes, or 56.71 percent, while Bloecker received 2,449 votes, or 43.28 percent.

"I'm pleased with the results and looking forward to the next four years and I couldn't be happier," DePasquale said. He was celebrating with his daughter, Sophia DePasquale, 16, and his girlfriend, Amanda Senior, who flew in from Chicago for the occasion.

Both are Montauk residents, who both have strong ties to the community. Bloecker is currently a town trustee, and will step down at the end of the year.

MARTIN DREW November 05, 2013 at 11:26 PM
Congrats to Mr Tekulsky - he will serve this town well; as only a gentleman can . Congrats to Mr. DePasquale - his task now - equal treatment under the law - LEAD our town board through re-assesment as it pays for itself.. You can do it ! - given a green light by the decision makers . Again congratulations to both men in their campaign wins ! The people have expressed their choice .. Look forward to the po$itive changes you both will bring to town government .

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