Anthony Coates, a political advisor to Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter, has decided he'd like to run for a seat on the town board.
Coates, who said last week that he had big political news to unveil Thursday, said he will be announcing his candidacy for Riverhead town board at a press conference to be held on Thursday at the Jedediah Hawkins Inn.
"Riverhead voters need to shake up the system and vote differently," Coates said.
Coates, 52, is a member of the Riverhead Business Improvement District, a former investment manager and current political advisor to Walter.
"I think Riverhead deserves a government worthy of our people. We have been voting the same way for fifty years in this town. It is time for new leadership and a new day in Riverhead," he said.
Speculation has been rampant about who would pursue the seat left empty by Suffolk County Legislator the election for Brookhaven Town Supervisor. Southold Town Councilman Al Kruspski announced Tuesday he would be throwing his hat into the ring for the seat.
Although some speculated Coates, who switched parties from Democrat to Republican, might pursue that position, he announced this week that he is seeking a seat on the town level.
In March, the Riverhead town board tabled a bill that would have hired Coates after it failed to receive enough support.
Walter had hoped to appoint Anthony Coates as legislative secretary - a $65,000-a-year job that would come with benefits - to market and lobby the town's property at Enterprise Park at Calverton. Coates has generally been paid a fee of $1,000 per month since August of 2010 from the supervisor's campaign fund.
Councilman John Dunleavy supported the supervisor in granting Coates the job, but colleagues Jim Wooten, Jodi Giglio, and George Gabrielsen didn't favor the resolution. A couple of them spoke out not so much against the political connection between the two, but the position itself.
Coates, is also the former publisher of the Record News Group. In addition, Coates served as an aide to the presiding officer of the Suffolk County Legislature, was executive assistant to the chairman of the Bank of Los Angeles, and was a portfolio manager and investment officer with Morgan Stanley, Smith Barney and Fleet Investment.
Coates has also been a lobbyist for public interest issues in Albany and
Washington D.C. and has offered commentary on public policy and issues of the day to numerous media outlets.
He has two daughters, Courtney, 20, and Jane, 13, is a gardener at the Riverhead Community Garden and a volunteer for numerous groups.