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Southampton Democrats are fighting back over what they say is an unethical, but legal, practice in which members of the Conservative or Republican parties have registered as members of the Working Families Party to force primaries in races where Democrats have won the minor party’s endorsements for town elected office.
Facing the risk of losing a voting line on the ballot because of the relatively few people who vote in the primaries, the Democrats have created the Clean Water Party as a landing place for those voters who might agree with the Democratic position on clean water initiatives but might still not want to vote for a Democratic slate.
Sean McArdle, who had been registered as a Conservative, and his wife, Miranda Shultz, who had been registered as a Republican, earlier this year changed their registration to Working Families and are challenging Robin Long and Tommy John Schiavoni for the Working Families nomination for Town Board in the June 22 primary. Mr. McArdle is the son of Charles McArdle, a registered Conservative who is running for highway superintendent on the Republican and Conservative lines.
Marc Braeger, who was formerly registered as a Republican and Conservative, also joined the Working Families Party and is challenging its nominee, Thomas Neely, a Democrat, for town highway superintendent.
Ms. Long, vice chairwoman of the town’s Democratic Committee and candidate for Town Board, said it was important to … [more]