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Thiele Backs Tekulsky for East Hampton Town Justice

Independence party member, the assemblyman says Democratic justice candidate will serve with "distinction."

Steven Tekulsky with his daughter, Kylie Credit: Taylor K. Vecsey
Steven Tekulsky with his daughter, Kylie Credit: Taylor K. Vecsey

With less than two months until the election, Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr., I-Sag Harbor, has endorsed Steven Tekulsky, who is running on the Democratic and Working Families lines for town justice. 

Thiele said in a statement that Tekulsky "is uniquely qualified to be town Justice and will serve the residents of East Hampton Town with distinction. Steven's local experience, years of community service, and involvement in local issues are the perfect mix of qualifications that we need in a judge."

Tekulsky is running against Carl Irace, who has the Republican, Independence and Conservative party lines. Justice Catherine A. Cahill, a Democrat and the senior town justice, is retiring.

"I am very grateful for this show of support from Assemblyman Thiele, an Independent, who is so well respected for his strong and successful advocacy of local causes that benefit the East End," Tekulsky said.

Irace, an attorney in private practice who previously served as a town attorney, said, "I am surprised to hear that a seasoned public servant, like Mr. Thiele, would endorse someone without having spoken to both candidates."

Thiele said that he has met Irace and had spoken to him briefly, but feels Tekulsky, whom he has known for some time, would do a good job as a justice.

Asked about crossing party lines, Thiele — who serves as the chairman of the Southampton Town Independence Party — said, "Independence means independence."

Tekulsky has been an attorney for 35 years, and ran a close race against incumbent Town Justice Lisa R. Rana in 2007. Irace was 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.

Pat Mansir, the vice chairwoman of the East Hampton Independence Party, said her party had chosen Irace as its candidate for justice because, "We felt that he possessed the temperment, education, energy, new ideas and experience needed to best be out next Judge."

Debra Brodie Foster September 15, 2013 at 10:18 AM
If Carl Irace was the man that you assume he is, he should write to this site and tell Ann that these mean tirades of hers are inappropriate and not what the voters want to hear. The voters are sick of pugilistic putdowns and want to hear facts about each candidate and not venom.
chris minardi September 15, 2013 at 01:19 PM
Ann your comments are not appropriate.
JDEAL September 15, 2013 at 01:29 PM
Fred Thiele will do what he has to do for the law firm he just joined - Twomey, Latham, Shea, and Kelley. It's sad because he used to be a man of integrity. And to have Debra Brodie Foster (of the mystery poll) defending you, should turn people right off.
Taylor K. Vecsey (Editor) September 15, 2013 at 02:08 PM
Comments about anyone's appearance have been and will be deleted.
Ann Cantley September 15, 2013 at 04:04 PM
Sorry the inconvenient truths are too stinging. A lot of facts were deleted, too, which Ms Foster, who like Thiele is another spokesperson on the Dem payroll, avoids mentioning. At least I am unaffiliated and beholden to neither party. We'll skip the obvious psychological implications about the eccentricities of Mr. Tekulsky that would appear to make him singularly unfit for a judgeship in my opinion. Let's stick to the main fact: he really appears to have had very little experience in the courts according to the available court dockets. Whereas the record of his opponent, who I don't know yet but hope to, is a study in contrast. According to available info, Mr. Irace served for 9 years as an assistant DA in the Bronx, speaks Spanish well (which is a huge leg up and a time saver), has been a busy trial attorney for 13 years, was East Hampton Town attorney for two years, resigning to run for Justice, has practiced in 19 different jurisdictions and so has wide and meaningful experience of court procedure and process. Who is more qualified is a no brainer for anyone who's not a partisan hack. The apparently semi-retired and backwatered sexagenarian in the inauthentic cowboy costumes or Carl Irace, the man who is at the peak of his career and energy and the same age that our two current town judges were when they were first elected. East Hampton showed wisdom in the past, let it show wisdom now and elect a truly public service oriented jurist who will not make incessant and embarrassing wisecracks and put-downs from the bench as some are wont to do in their civilian life.
Francis J. Bock September 15, 2013 at 06:07 PM
I saw that Steven Tekulsky had posted on his Facebook Page on June 27 that he had been endorsed by the Working Families party as their candidate for Town Justice. On that same day, Pat Mansir responded with the following 2 posts: "I think that is extremely important." ; and "Steve, in answer to your post on my e-mail, I DID and DO and WILL support you , but seven voted. Devon has gotten your bumper stickers - they are classy!" (The capitalizations were hers). Who has switched her position, within just a few months? The silly season is upon us.
mackie September 16, 2013 at 07:26 AM
Mr. Tekulsky is a good man with values who is committed to the citizens of this town. He has the pulse of the community and my vote.
Stacey S September 16, 2013 at 08:57 AM
Ann- your comments are deplorable. I find it strange you keep bringing up the way Mr. Tekulsky dresses, my son wears cowboy hats and boots, I guess it should be open season on him at school. Keep up the good work, it only helps Mr. Tekulsky since nobody likes a bully.
Nanci e. LaGarenne September 16, 2013 at 11:28 AM
I don't care if either candidate wears a clown suit down Main Street, as long as he is the person for the job. I think Carl has the stamina and smarts for the position. I am not convinced Steve does, in my humble opinion. I don't vote straight any party unless I love all the candidates positions across that line. So therefore I can support a Democratic board and still vote for Carl and Joe Blocker. My perogative. But please vote!!! You can turn the tide. That is exactly how we have a voice in our own town. Good luck to all of you!
MARTIN DREW September 18, 2013 at 09:03 AM
Carl Irace for Justice!! Where Experience & Integrity & Dedication to our town will continue the legacy left by the Honorable Justice Cahill . Big shoes to fill in that respect ; However rest assured Carl Irace is the man for the job ! Vote IRACE on Election Day!
Ann Cantley September 18, 2013 at 10:07 AM
Francis, Pat makes some very good points and if her opinion of the Dem crony candidate has been impacted by seeing the man close up, then that speaks well of her integrity and intellectual honesty.
chris minardi September 18, 2013 at 10:50 AM
Ann, your comments are childish, and a disgrace to the Irace campaign. i don’t see any Tekulsky voters bad mouthing the opposition. I’m embarrassed for you and i don’t think the Irace campaign would condone your behavior. As a local bonacker, i only have kind words to say about us all. I will be voting for Steven Tekulsky. He is a remarkable person, and had dedicated his life to East Hampton.
tito September 18, 2013 at 11:54 AM
ohhh ann. you are at it again. almost every lawyer, including your friend that you met in montauk close to gosmans, or also known as near his father in laws home, does pro bono work. it is unfortunate that you think that doing something "pro bono" is out of self interest. i hold each candidate in high regard for the more they do for the community. if it was for either surfrider or the east end peditaric dental foundations. these are qualities that voters should be looking for and not discouraging.
Pat Mansir September 18, 2013 at 12:01 PM
I am asking you to STOP THIS now. I can tell you that these personal digs are not helping anyone. They are hurting a candidate who deserves to feel good about receiving an endorsement. These comments are digging at his personal life, this apprearance, way of dress and actually his very being, Stop it. As Vice Chair of the Independence Party, who is working closely with Carl Irace, I can tell you we do not condone any of this. This remains a small town and a man's devotion to the Fire Service, for instance, is NOT self serving, and is NOT up for political scrutiny. Steve is a family man and any time he goes to a fire he is putting himself at risk. What do you think these nasty comments are doing to his home life, his family? A middle of Sept endorsement for a single candidate is at fault here. Never have I heard of that and certainly not from Mr. Thiele. Thank You
Francis J. Bock September 18, 2013 at 12:25 PM
Having known Steven for nearly 30 years, I can say his dedication to the East Hampton comminity has been unwavering. Contrary to Ann's delusional belief, Steven was volunteering his service long before any benefits were offered to firefighters and as any E.H. resident knows, we all have access to the town's beaches. Unlike his opponent, Steven knows the people he serves. Ann, get a grip.
Carl Irace September 18, 2013 at 02:03 PM
I commend my opponent for his service in the Fire Department. Emergency responders are a huge part of every community, especially when the services are volunteered out of the goodness of their hearts. I don’t condone personal attacks in general, and especially not in a judicial campaign. The State rules on conduct during a judicial campaign require that the campaign is conducted in a manner that fits the “dignity appropriate to judicial office.”
jonathan miller September 18, 2013 at 02:09 PM
Well said, Carl Irace. You're a true gentleman.
Francis J. Bock September 18, 2013 at 02:31 PM
Why did it take so long for Pat and Carl to attempt to reel in the shrills? Pat's not new to the game.
MARTIN DREW September 19, 2013 at 08:40 AM
It's called FREEDOM OF SPEECH -Mr Irace or Ms Mansir can't reel that in ... (B)lanks vote for Carl Irace - his record proves his ability to be a justice in our court system. Fred Thiele is not my leader of choice ; so his opinion means little as a endorsement . Carl Irace is a candidate WORTHY OF RESPECT - vote for him in November - He has my vote - deserves yours - check his credentials ; the man has verified history - and will make a very competent justice . This job requires his tenacity . Justice Cahill has set the bar in this respect . Good Luck to both candidates - may the popular candidate be judged by the voters as the right man for the job . Martin Drew / For Truth - Justice - and the American way .
MARTIN DREW September 19, 2013 at 08:48 AM
For Francis- try thinking of our life as; NOT A GAME... It's the games that continue discrimination . It's the games that create division - It's the games politicians play with our lives / lifestyle choices that needs to end ... Ms . Mansir ; not new to the playing field knows of what I speak . Timing is everything .. Assimilation - Respect- Tolerance - What say Francis on this concept .. Ready to wrap your arms around discrimination ? Right a long standing wrong? Ideology vs. action .. We'll see ... Article 78 on the horizon ...otherwi$e?
MARTIN DREW September 19, 2013 at 08:54 AM
Debra Brodie Foster - Mr. Irace deserves not to be challenged by the likes of a political hack ! He already has the respect of the public in his service as a town attorney. Unfortunate for you ; who lacks that respect during your service as town councilwoman; who was part of the $30MILLIONS dollar pillaging of the town finances - you respectfully don't have the position to judge another's need to defend his positions. Try defending your actions that drove our town to the brink of bankruptcy . Start by looking in the mirror.
Francis J. Bock September 19, 2013 at 09:44 AM
Martin, you start with freedom of speech and finish with those who don't agree with you can't exercise that freedom (scratching head). I'll call it the way I see it. You are fine with unreasonable attacks against those you don't support but others must stay away from those you do. Hypocrisy is your real problem.
MARTIN DREW September 19, 2013 at 10:45 AM
Excellent Francis - we both call it like we see it.. Hypocrisy = FREEDOM OF SPEECH ? I support people ..not politics ... Party people in the house ... Playing games with our lives ! Is that hypocritical? I've been scratching my head for decades being played with .. Call it like you see it? Or you're part of the deaf / blind crowd ?
MARTIN DREW September 19, 2013 at 10:47 AM
Remember to fact check me... My facts are accurate .. Personal performance mea$ured is not a attack - just fact$..
MARTIN DREW September 19, 2013 at 10:55 AM
Exercise YOUR RIGHT - I'll excercise mine ... Just be careful throwing stones upon a glass house ..
MARTIN DREW September 19, 2013 at 11:00 AM
(B)lanks vote - 4200 of you CAN make a difference; One man with a plan can CHANGE course - It's what all these political types FEAR . A just person who WILL throw party politics on its rear .. Hypocrisy in action is what I watch at every political meeting I attend . I'm learning the GAME- except now I want a victory for my team. Local by life - anti-political agendas by choice . Time for a re-do of this whole town ... Which politician will defend our CPF plan with no central bank? No sending and receiving areas defined - 4 comp plans by professional$ and no-one knows this FACT!
MARTIN DREW September 19, 2013 at 11:02 AM
No affordable housing in the 1000's - Overcrowding in $prong$ while our Airport is taken over by elite Agendas while my kids I represent are deemed outlaws! Wake up Francis - you are part of the problem?
Francis J. Bock September 19, 2013 at 11:44 AM
You're right Martin, the local Judicial election should be able to help you with those issues.
MARTIN DREW September 19, 2013 at 04:20 PM
Francis - you know the problems ; I'll be happy with either man ... and since you meant your comment sarcastically - You yhink our issues below you ? Equality your joke? Assimilation the laugh? Tolerance the punch line? Acceptance the line in the sand? Both Candidates will serve this town well .. let the popularity contest continue .. Best Francis - anytime you want to help 324-9725
Dawn Brophy September 20, 2013 at 01:44 PM
In my opinion a Judgeship is not a republican or democratic position. Look at the persons qualifications and experience. The issues today are complex and the court is one of the busiest. It is not a job for the faint of heart. Do you cast a vote for the person who lives on your street or who lives in your school district, or do you take a close look and choose a candidate because you care about East Hampton and you want the best. Each candidate has given to the community and their Character is important. The town's issues and challenges are not the same that they were 20 - 50 years ago. We need a person that not only can meet those challenges for a changing community, but also one that understands them. Real experience, the ability to make fair decisions and the ability to endure the grind are important. Put politics beside and vote for the future of East Hampton.

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