A longtime resident of Southeast has declared his candidacy for town supervisor, following an announcement by Tony Hay that he will not be seeking re-election to the post in November.
“Southeast has been very fortunate for many years to be in such good hands under the watch of Tony Hay,” said Nick Durante, a 48-year resident of the town. “There’s no doubt he will leave behind some big shoes to fill, but I truly believe I’m up to the task.”
Durante is a Republican who said he does not expect to receive the backing of the Southeast Republican Committee. “So, I’m basically going to get the backing of people I know in Southeast, and the Southeast residents that I will meet in the next month or two,” he said.
Durante, a husband, and father of two daughters, describes himself as a “proud Brewster Bear.” After graduating from Brewster High School in 1986, he became a lineman for Verizon for 30 years, as well as a small-business owner for 10 years, opening Bella Vino Spirits, a wine and spirits shop in the Town of Southeast.
“During my time as a lineman for Verizon, I experienced the same struggles so many working families face these days,” said Durante. “When I opened my store, it gave me a whole new perspective on things, and I learned a lot about the challenges faced by small-business owners.
“Owning a successful business provided me with valuable experience when it comes to budgeting, inventory, vendor relationships, but most importantly, creating a connection with so many wonderful people in this community,” he continued.
Durante said he has always made it a priority to give back to the community that has given him and his family such a blessed life. In addition to being a parishioner of St. Lawrence O’Toole Church in Brewster, he volunteers there as a CCD instructor.
A lifelong athlete, Durante has been a fixture in the local youth sports community for many years, coaching T-ball, softball and lacrosse. These days, you can often find him at the Brewster Ice Arena, where he currently serves as a youth hockey coach, on-ice official, and is still an active hockey player himself, participating in the local adult recreation league.
“Southeast isn’t a country club community,” said Durante. “The people in this town work hard, and I think they want and need someone who is willing to work hard with them, and for them. I believe that person is me.”