Cantwell said his primary objectives for a planned second term are protecting East Hampton's "unique quality of life," protecting water quality and maintaining a "strong local economy." He noted that under his tenure, the town budget produced a $1.6 million surplus in 2014 and reduced debt by $10 million. He continues to work at "getting bad behavior under control" in downtown Montauk, where summer crowds have swelled in recent years. He said the town's new budget will increase enforcement personnel while remaining under the 2 percent tax cap. He noted that he has worked to reduce nitrogen pollution in town waterways, and has increased the number of code-enforcement cases the town is handling by 30 percent.
Cantwell, 64, is running on the Democratic, Working Families and Independence party lines. He has been a public official for 39 years, winning his first election at age 25 as East Hampton Town bay constable. He later served on the town board, and spent 32 years as the Village of East Hampton administrator. He has also served on the East Hampton Town Planning Board, and as chairman of the Town Housing Authority. He has a degree in business administration from LIU Post, is married and has a daughter and two grandchildren.