It's official: Suffolk County Legislator Ed Romaine kicked off his campaign for Brookhaven Town supervisor in Center Moriches, his hometown, on Tuesday.
The legislator threw his hat into the proverbial ring after current Supervisor Mark Lesko to take a job leading Accelerate Long Island.
Romaine will face off against Democrat Brian Beedenbender, Lesko's chief of staff, at a special election on Nov. 6.
“I have lived in Brookhaven for more than 40 years. This is my home. This is where I raised my children. Brookhaven is a part of who I am," said Romaine, the Republican, Conservative, and Independence candidate.
Romaine added that he is "committed to turning this town around; committed to making it great again. We will reinvent Brookhaven. We will streamline government. We will make government more responsive to the needs of its residents. We will work with the private sector to promote real job growth. And we will preserve our environment for the next generation.”
Romaine said that, for "far too long" town leaders have relied on old reserves and new fees to balance the budget. "This must end. Fee increases, backdoor taxes, and cumbersome regulations have hindered our ability to expand our employment base. We will make Brookhaven an example of efficient and cost effective government and not one of waste and mismanagement.”
Romaine, whose son Keith, 36, died while serving as a Brookhaven Town councilman, was lauded by Brookhaven town board members.
Councilman Dan Panico, who sponsored legislation to name Bank Street Park after Keith Romaine, said Ed Romaine "is an extraordinary person and someone who will lead us through these tough times in Brookhaven. Ed Romaine is not only a great leader and an exceptional motivator, but my mentor."
“In these tough economic times, there is no one better prepared to lead our town than Ed Romaine,” said Councilwoman Jane Bonner. “There is no one with more energy and more dedication to the task at hand than Ed.”
Councilman Tim Mazzei said Ed Romaine is a proven tax fighter "with a record second to none. He will ensure Brookhaven is an affordable place to raise a family and create private sector jobs.”
Brookhaven Town Deputy Supervisor Kathy Walsh said Romaine is "a unifying force who has the support of many diverse groups.”
Romaine is currently serving his fourth consecutive term in the Suffolk County Legislature and previously served as Suffolk County Clerk.
A special election will be held on Nov. 6, concurrent with state and federal elections.