Island Vote: Unopposed candidates in Suffolk

Critics of Suffolk County's election process say voters are being cut out of the conversation by cross-endorsed candidates, unopposed candidates and candidates who are non-actively campaigning.

According to the Suffolk Elections Board, there are three unopposed candidates, four cross-endorsed candidates and three non-actively campaigning candidates on the Nov. 3 ballot. Political analyst Mike Dawidziak says that can discourage voters.

"It's not good for the Democratic process. Voters should always have a choice," says Dawidziak.

Suffolk Republican leader John Jay LaValle says the GOP has banned cross-endorsing countywide executive or legislative candidates with the Democrats.

"When you have these cross-endorsements, there is no debate anymore. The public's cut out of the process," says LaValle.

However, LaValle and Suffolk Democratic leader Rich Schaffer are still endorsing many judgeships, and some other positions like town highway superintendents, clerks and assessors.

"A lot of times, the positions that end up being either cross-endorsed or there's no opponent are mostly administrative positions, like receiver of taxes or superintendent of highways," Schaffer tells News 12.

Still, voters like Deborah Schiavoni says "everyone should be represented."

"I'm not too happy, I think that there's two sides to every story," says Schiavoni.


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