The East Hampton Independence Party has selected Zachary Cohen, the Democratic nominee, to run for town supervisor on its party line come November.
Cohen, who is registered with neither party, was selected over Town Supervisor Bill Wilkinson, who will be running for re-election with the Republican nomination.
Independence Party Chairwoman Elaine Jones said, in an announcement on Friday, that the decision was difficult but because Cohen is neither a registered Republican or a Democrat, they thought he would be "an Independent thinker" in representing the entire town.
"Many of his ideas include raising the morale of the employees, transparent and receptive government, enforcing the town code and affordable housing," Jones stated.
Cohen said he was proud of the endorsement. "After my screening, Elaine Jones and her committee continued their research and privately polled many people. That also meant she kept calling me, and asking me to answer more questions!," he said in a statement.
"My endorsement by both the Democratic Party and the Independence Party shows that the current Republican majority on the board represents the views and interests of an ever-narrowing slice of the public," he said. "I have been, and always will be, committed to representing all people independent of their political affiliation."
Cohen will appear on the Independence ticket along with William Mott and Marilyn Behan for town council.
The party also endorsed the following for town trustees:
- Diane McNally, the trustee clerk and Republican nominee
- Stephanie Talmage-Forsberg, an incumbent and Republican nominee
- Tim Bock, an incumbent and Republican nominee
- Lynn Mendelman, an incumbent and Republican nominee
- Joseph Bloecker, an incumbent and Republican nominee
- Nate Miller, a Republican nominee
- Shawn McCaffrey, a Republican nominee
- Steven Lester, a Democratic nominee and former town trustee
- Brian Byrne
Jones followed up by saying the party was not "a rubber stamp for either the Republican or Democratic parties." There are Independence candidates, she said, that are both.