New Dem candidate steps up for town supervisor

Former Port Jeff mayor ends campaign


Margot J. Garant, the longtime mayor and resident of the Village of Port Jefferson, stepped down due to medical concerns. Garant originally announced her candidacy for Brookhaven Town supervisor on the Democratic line, after announcing her retirement from mayor in February.

“As some of you may know, I have been dealing with a health issue that requires me to take some time off from my public duties and focus on my recovery. After much thought and consultation with my doctors and my family, I have decided to withdraw from the race for Brookhaven Town supervisor,” Garant wrote in a statement.

Brookhaven Democratic chairman Anthony Portesy has since announced that former Brookhaven Democratic chairwoman and three-time mayor of Hamden, Conn., Lillian Clayman, has agreed to step up. She will run against current town deputy supervisor and Republican, Dan Panico.

“I wish my dear friend Margot Garant a speedy recovery,” Clayman said. “I am delighted to join a slate of Democratic candidates who are committed to making Brookhaven a forward-looking, honestly governed community.”

Clayman is a resident of Port Jefferson Village. She teaches Labor and Industrial Relations at SUNY Old Westbury.

“It’s unfortunate that Margot Garant has to step down, but we’re thinking of her and understand the importance of putting personal needs before politics,” said Suffolk County Democratic chair Rich Schaffer. “We’re fortunate that Lillian Clayman has stepped up to run for supervisor and look forward to her carrying our ticket in Brookhaven towards victory, up and down the ballot, in November.”

The supervisor seat will be vacated by current Brookhaven Town supervisor Ed Romaine, who will run for Suffolk County executive on the Republican line against Democratic contender and former federal and state prosecutor, Dave Calone. Current Suffolk County executive Steve Bellone is term-limited and will leave office at the end of 2023. 

Planning to run against longtime councilman Neil Foley (R-Patchogue) in the Brookhaven Town’s 5th District is Democratic candidate Francis Salazar. Back in 2019, Foley was reelected with over 60 percent of the vote against Andrea Stolz.

Democratic candidate Dr. Kerry Spooner will be running in District 6 for Republican councilman Dan Panico’s vacated seat. Karen Dunne will be running on the Republican line. Dunne is from Manorville, currently serves on the town’s planning board, and is the president of the Manorville Chamber of Commerce.

Spooner is the founder of Sound Justice Initiative, a nonprofit organization that provides educational opportunities to justice-involved people in Suffolk County, including teaching college-oriented courses in Riverhead and Yaphank jails. She has 20 years of experience teaching in higher education and lives in Calverton with her spouse and young son. 

In District 4, Democratic candidate Cameron Trent will run against Republican incumbent Mike Loguercio. Loguercio was reelected in 2019 in a close race against Democrat Cheryl Felice, earning 46.61 percent of the vote.

Trent promises to advocate on behalf of the community and has served on the South Country Library Board and since 2019, he was twice elected as a member of the South Country Central School District Board of Education, serving two consecutive terms as vice president. Currently, Trent, a Bellport native, is continuing his education in health administration at Western Governors University.

Trent also worked as a legislative aide with the former presiding officer of the Suffolk County Legislature, Rob Calarco, and presently serves as a deputy town clerk in the Town of Babylon. “I believe we need a stronger town board, one with elected officials who are willing acknowledge a challenge and will work together, not walk away from solving the town’s looming budget and garbage crisis,” he said, noting that his platform is built on mutual respect and hard work. “I’m eager to get started in listening to the residents, making sure all voices are heard.”

Also in the county, Ryan McGarry, a resident of Patchogue Village, declared his candidacy for Suffolk County Legislature in the 7th District against Republican incumbent, Dominick Thorne.

The general election will take place on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 7.


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