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Nov 11, 2014 1:09 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Bishop's Departure Will Be Felt On The South Fork

Nov 18, 2014 9:30 AM

It was a blow to some elected officials and Democratic Party members on the South Fork when U.S. Representative Tim Bishop lost his bid for reelection last week, meaning his term in Washington, D.C., will end January 1.

Southampton’s own did not win the hearts and minds of voters this time around after a 12-year stint as congressman. That came as a shock to many, including Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst.

“It’s an enormous loss,” she said on Monday. “I am still in mourning, for a lack of a better word, that we have lost such a great public servant and representative for this area.”

Ms. Throne-Holst said she worked with Mr. Bishop on a day-to-day basis for seven years and really got to learn a lot about his impact on his community. “We had a great champion in Tim for the East End,” she said.

She said Mr. Bishop was known in Washington to be pragmatic and not afraid to reach across party lines to get something done. He was able to get the federal government to turn its attention to the South Fork specifically, including working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to bring help to the shore, she said.

State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr., who said he has known Mr. Bishop since high school, noted that the congressman was a part of the “great team” they had, consisting of himself, Mr. Bishop, State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle, County Legislator Jay Schneiderman, Ms. Throne-Holst, and East Hampton Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell.

“Tim obviously knew the East End and lived here—we’re less than 20 percent of the overall district, so sometimes the East End has a difficult time getting attention on the county level, or as part of a big congressional district,” Mr. Thiele said. “I’m certainly disappointed. The Downtown Montauk Stabilization Project wouldn’t have gotten as far as it got without his focused attention, which he also places on other erosion issues, like at Shinnecock Inlet and Smith Point. He was a major force for coastal policy, and he played a big role in keeping the Federal Aviation Administration at the table [with regard to East Hampton Airport].”

Mr. Bishop had touted his experience while on the campaign trail, but ultimately voters went in a different direction, and Ms. Throne-Holst said it was largely due to misinformation. She said the FBI’s investigation into a favor Mr. Bishop did for a constituent found no wrongdoing, but that did not come across, as negative campaign ads highlighted the investigation.

“It’s a terrible shame that message was not able to be corrected or that the great work he did became overshadowed by that propaganda,” she said.

“People tend to be persuaded by sound bites and picking up pieces of information that may or may not be correct,” said Gordon Herr, the chairman of the Southampton Town Democratic Committee. “It’s definitely a major loss. Tim has done so much for the East End for the last 12 years. Being a resident of Southampton Town makes a big difference.”

Mr. Herr said when it came down to working for the people, Mr. Bishop was always there physically and figuratively—a fixture of the community with ties to Washington.

“He was a hands-on congressman,” Mr. Herr said. “He’d run around on his own and arrive at places on his own. He was a familiar face and figure, from going to events at the firehouse to when Bill Clinton visited. You could count on the fact that he was going to be there.”

According to Jeanne Frankl, the chairwoman of the East Hampton Town Democratic Committee, it has been Mr. Bishop’s personal dedication to his constituents and community that made him successful for 12 years.

“If Lee Zeldin were smart, he would ask Tim Bishop if he could hire his staff to re-create his office here, so that he could replace the service Bishop has given to 17,000 people in District 1, one by one,” she said. “As we made [campaign] calls that covered the entire district, we came upon people of all different political allegiances that would say, ‘Tim Bishop helped my family—we’re veterans in this house. I’m voting for him.’ You could call his office if you were having trouble getting your medical pay, and his staff would cut through the process.”

Mr. Thiele and Senator LaValle, although disappointed for Mr. Bishop, said all is not lost. Both men have worked with Mr. Zeldin in the past.

“Government goes on. Life goes on,” Mr. Thiele said. “The common element here is that we represent the public, regardless of who is there. We have the responsibility to work well with each other.”

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It's just too bad he tied himself so close to Pelosi and supported so many programs that Suffolk County voters vehemently opposed. Even now, he should explain why he went along with John Gruber and played on the "stupidity" of the voters.
By SHPredatorDept (72), Southampton on Nov 14, 14 9:24 AM
1 member liked this comment
Bishop never should have voted for Obamacare! His former constituents pleaded for him to vote, no. It took awhile, but we did not forget!
By crusader (391), East Quogue on Nov 14, 14 3:45 PM
1 member liked this comment
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By crusader (391), East Quogue on Nov 14, 14 3:45 PM
I'll miss him....the same way I miss Osama bin Laden. Hit the bricks Dim Tim, time to undo all the damage your party of boot licking sycophants did. Time to start erasing you and that con-man in the White House from history.
By Preliator Lives (432), Obamavillie on Nov 14, 14 4:04 PM
Obama's insurance policy : DC chuckles after GOP congressman rules out impeaching Obama because 'Have you met Joe Biden?'

By Undocumented Democrat (2040), southampton on Nov 15, 14 1:10 AM
1 member liked this comment
Have you met Mitt Romney?
By 6 Strings (3), Hampton Bays on Nov 16, 14 10:27 AM
I have met Mitt, very nice man, we traded an opportunity for real reality based leadership for ? for ?

Well, whatever you call this.
By 27dan (2817), Shinnecock Hills on Nov 16, 14 10:45 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By razza5350 (1911), East Hampton on Nov 15, 14 6:07 AM
How much did Tim Bishop pay you to write this article?
By BillWillConn3 (180), Scarsdale on Nov 15, 14 7:18 AM
2 members liked this comment
East Enders who are in need of political favors will surely miss Tim. Not to mention all his family members pulling in excessive salaries.
By kpjc (161), east quogue on Nov 15, 14 7:40 AM
Funny how so so many constituents on the East End were NOT happy with Tim Bishop- somehow that was left out if this clearly biased article. It was time for him to go and the people were heard! Go Lee!!!!
By saggirl73 (3), sag harbor on Nov 15, 14 10:16 PM
I didn't like either of our choices this year. Held my nose and voted.
By oystercatcher (126), southampton on Nov 16, 14 12:32 AM
Great smear campaign run by Zeldin. The 24-7 negative ad campaign proved to be just the ticket for the Repubs. Congratulations to all the Obama haters! Now, what are you going to do to make things worse? Maybe dump some more asbestos in our environment? Zeldin is a slime. What a shame.
By 6 Strings (3), Hampton Bays on Nov 16, 14 10:13 AM
Both sides run smear campaigns to be honest I saw more positive commercials from team Zeldin than team Bishop.
By GoldenBoy (350), EastEnd on Nov 16, 14 12:06 PM