Island Vote: After 40 years, a change for Smithtown
With 40-year incumbent Pat Vecchio out of the race, three candidates are now vying to be Smithtown's next town supervisor.
Whether or not he wins next month's election, Ed Wehrheim already has a huge political win under his belt defeating Vecchio in last month's Republican primary. His main focus in the campaign is downtown revitalization.
"I'm keenly aware of the fact that most Smithtown residents want their municipalities improved, but want it in the character of the way Smithtown always has been. That's my intention," Wehrheim told News 12 Long Island.
Democratic candidate Bill Holst agrees and says that was one of his focuses when he was a county legislator.
"I held forums in Bay Shore, Patchogue and Riverhead. Those communities embraced the whole notion of downtown revitalization, and you see what's happened over the last 20 years. I came to my hometown, and there was total indifference," Holst said.
Also in the race, with a budget of $1,000, is Kristen Slevin — who received 1,700 signatures to qualify for a spot on the ballot. She says she decided to run shortly after her family opened a candy store called Yottabyte off East Main Street.
"On opening day, almost every customer who came in asked us if we were going to make it," she told News 12. "That propelled us to look around and see…there's so many stores that didn't even make it for a year."
While all the candidates agree that downtown revitalization is badly needed, it will be up voters on Nov. 7 to decide which candidate gets the chance to try to make it happen.