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Aug 30, 2013 2:45 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Tuesday Will Be An Odd Primary Day In Southampton Town

Sep 4, 2013 10:47 AM

Tuesday, September 10, is primary day in New York State, and Southampton Town voters, depending on what party they are in, have more decisions to make than most Suffolk County residents.

Only those town residents who are registered members of the Republican, Conservative and Working Families parties can cast ballots at their regular polling places, between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m.

The only two contested races on the actual ballot are for county offices; Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota, a Republican, is being challenged for the GOP nomination by criminal defense lawyer Raymond Perini, while four-term incumbent Suffolk County Sheriff Vincent DeMarco, a Conservative who is cross-endorsed by Republicans, must first fend off a challenge from veteran officer Samuel Barreto to secure the GOP line.

If Mr. Perini, an attorney for the Southampton Town Police Department’s ranking officers union, wins Tuesday’s primary, his name will appear on the Republican line on the November ballot, where he will again face Mr. Spota for the county’s top criminal prosecutor’s post. Mr. Spota, a registered Democrat, has also been endorsed by the Independence and Conservative parties.

Only registered Republicans can vote in those two primaries.

At the town level, Tuesday will be an odd primary day. Technically, there are two primaries, with four declared candidates, though only one name—and one race—will appear on the actual ballot.

Working Families Party members—there are fewer than 100 registered in Southampton Town—will be able to vote for their party’s nominee, Town Highway Superintendent Alex Gregor. Mr. Gregor’s name will be the only one to appear on Tuesday’s ballot. However, a challenger, Republican David Betts, filed an “opportunity-to-ballot” petition for the Working Families Party line, allowing him to receive write-in votes for the post.

Even if he loses to the write-in bid for the Working Families Party nomination, Mr. Gregor’s name will still appear on the Democratic and Independence party lines in November. He is a member of the Independence Party.

There will also be a primary for the Conservative Party line in the town supervisor’s race—though no names will appear on the ballot. Earlier this week, the leaders of the town’s Conservative Party announced that it will officially support Phil Keith of East Quogue, a member of the Southampton Town Planning Board and a columnist for The Press, as a write-in candidate for the party line.

The party’s support of Mr. Keith comes as a counter to a write-in campaign being run by Republican Party supervisor candidate Linda Kabot of Quogue, who forced the primary with the original Conservative Party designee, Howard Heckman III, before Mr. Heckman’s petition was ruled invalid.

Neither Mr. Keith’s nor Ms. Kabot’s name will appear on the actual ballot, and there will be no column for the town supervisor’s candidacy on the ballot. But members of the Conservative Party can still vote and write in any name they like for the post in a space that will be provided on the ballot.

Whoever gets the most write-in votes will have his or her name placed on the Conservative line of the November ballot. There are 712 registered members of the Conservative Party in Southampton Town, according to the Suffolk County Board of Elections.

Ms. Kabot has been conducting a door-to-door and letter-writing campaign to get out voters since filing her opportunity-to-ballot petition earlier this summer. Last month, she successfully got the nominating petition of Mr. Heckman thrown out by the Board of Elections by challenging some of the signatures on it: namely, those of Mr. Heckman himself and his family members, who had already signed her Conservative Party petition. The party leadership has refused to validate Ms. Kabot’s petition and give her the party line.

Last Thursday, August 29, the Conservative Party issued a formal statement throwing its support behind Mr. Keith, a Navy veteran.

“A review of the life and experience of Commander Keith confirms he is, without question, a sterling choice to carry the Conservative banner,” the statement reads. “His dedication to public service, his dedication to our nation, his outstanding education, his exceptional private sector experience and his unwavering life-long close adherence to Conservative Principles make him uniquely qualified to carry the Conservative line and serve with great distinction as our Southampton Town Supervisor.”

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Has there ever been a more divisive local politician than Kabot? it's just one thing after another with her.
By littleplains (305), olde england on Aug 30, 13 5:03 PM
2 members liked this comment
Has there ever been a bigger liar, phony or dishonest politician than Anna-Throne-Holst? It's one dishonest campaign filing after another.
By reg rep (408), Southampton on Aug 30, 13 8:21 PM
Can't wait to hear more about Commander Keith! It seems like all we have heard for years is Kabot, Throne-Holst. The voters have what seems like fresh, well qualified person to vote for! A real choice finally!!!!!
By The Gipper (11), Sag Harbor on Aug 30, 13 8:50 PM
Commander Keith comes across as a great American and patriot. Unfortunately, he seems to lack the "poke 'em in the eyes, and kick 'em in the nuts" political skills required to be SH Town supervisor.
By V.Tomanoku (790), southampton on Aug 30, 13 10:01 PM
He is mostly wrong. 21st century Archie Bunker. Tea baggers dream.
By Mets fan (1501), Southampton on Aug 31, 13 8:40 PM
2 members liked this comment

Phil Keith is the Jim DeMint of Southampton. God help us all.
By Obbservant (449), southampton on Sep 1, 13 1:15 AM
Would just like to add a brief comment: this article is essentially correct except for the headline. My candidacy, at this point, is not against Linda Kabot, or Anna Throne-Holst, for that matter. It is FOR the right of the Conservative Party to have, on the ballot, the candidate of the Party's choice. Registered members of the Conservative Party will have the chance, on September 10th, to write in the name of anyone they would like to see on the November 5th Conservative Party line--it's that simple. ...more
By Capt. Phil (64), Southampton on Sep 1, 13 1:52 PM
Your comment about having a choice in the process is well said. I take it then you must be furious at Mr. Walsh giving a democrat (Spota) the conservative line for DA?
By fuou812 (59), Oakdale on Sep 1, 13 4:28 PM
1 member liked this comment
I had not been aware of this. Thanks for bringing it to my attention--I'll take a look. I will say this, though: usually, much in regard to "local politics" is more about the person being endorsed and the skills they have than necessarily being an adherent to a particular party line. We all want the best person for the job.
By Capt. Phil (64), Southampton on Sep 2, 13 8:47 AM
1 member liked this comment
Agreed. But the best person for the job should be decided by the electorate not the party leaders. Wouldn't you agree? If an individual is cross endorsed by all political parties as Mr Spota is, doesn't that eliminate the electorate in the process?
By fuou812 (59), Oakdale on Sep 2, 13 10:13 AM
Yes, in the sense that we don't get to choose who's on the ticket, but no in the sense that we are supposed to have a representative government: we pick people to make choices for us; but, if we don't like the choices, we vote out those who choose (or elect new party chair people as the case may be).
By Capt. Phil (64), Southampton on Sep 2, 13 12:15 PM
Mr. Walsh was neither picked nor elected by the people and the party people who elected Mr Walsh Chair of the Conservative Party don't represent the electorate at large either.

So we end up with unrepresentative people picking unrepresentative Chairmen, who pick unrepresentative candidates.
One hell of a democratic system, wouldn't you say; and that includes your candidacy.
By Obbservant (449), southampton on Sep 3, 13 6:00 PM
Capt Phil with all due respect you do not have a chance to win the Supervisor race. This race will be between Linda Kabot and Anna Throne-Holt. I am sorry to say you were asked to be part of this primary just because of Malone's dislike for Linda Kabot. I really think the conservative party does not care if Anna wins. That is the real disgrace here. This is not about a representative government, its about politics at it's worst. Do the right thing a back out of this race and tell Malone to get lost. ...more
By reg rep (408), Southampton on Sep 4, 13 9:19 PM
In the back shadows somewhere Skip Heaney lurks egging on the conservative Party under whose aegis he ran in 2007 again dividing the republican Party in his attempt to derail the Republican Kabot as part of a strategy with Anna Throne Holst cooked up in their many meetings.

Heaney has so destroyed his name on the East End causing him to back out of his many comeback attempts in East End politics that he is now content just to be a spoiler for Kabot who defeated him in a Primary and a ...more
By Obbservant (449), southampton on Sep 4, 13 9:41 PM
No, I do a not feel used. I was taught that when your country, party, cause calls you, you ask, "How can I help?"
By Capt. Phil (64), Southampton on Sep 6, 13 10:12 AM
Yes, of course it's mostly Skip Heaney's doing also. He will never forget that he lost to Linda Kabot. Capt Phil if you are really a stand up guy you will see how you are being used by dirty politicians. Tell the party bosses to get lost are you not better then them?
Sep 5, 13 10:03 AM appended by reg rep
By the way Mr. Keith you said “What goes beyond September 10 is a second milestone,” said Keith on Tuesday. “The reason I have done this is I feel it should be the party that determines a candidate. I think it is the right thing. I am not doing this against anyone. It is not against Linda, it is not against Anna, it is for the right of the Conservative Party to pick its candidate. Per what you stated above, if you really felt that way why did you wait till now to step up to the plate? Why didn't you step up back in April or May when candidates were being picked and appear on the ballot under the Conservative Banner??
By reg rep (408), Southampton on Sep 5, 13 10:03 AM
I did not seek this opportunity. It was presented to me unsolicited. I had to think about this very carefully and I consulted with my family first and foremost. I truly enjoy and value my current position on the Planning Board. Doing anything else was not on my radar, but, as I said above, one of my core principles is about duty and service, so here we are.
By Capt. Phil (64), Southampton on Sep 6, 13 10:17 AM
Did you ever stop and think why this opportunity was presented to you NOW. Why was this not presented to you back when the screening's were being done in the spring?
Thank you for service and loyalty to our country but you are kidding yourself if you really believe what you stated above. On the other hand you did say when your party calls you, you ask, "How can I help? Ok I get it how can I help you help Anna Throne-Holst win.
I'm sure you also understand you will not win this supervisor ...more
By reg rep (408), Southampton on Sep 6, 13 12:05 PM
1 member liked this comment
Yes, Capt. Phil, registered conservatives, thanks to Linda Kabot, now have the opportunity to select their choice, not the party bosses (either in Town or at the County level), but the choice of rank and file Conservative Party enrollees. One, Linda Kabot, has already received the endorsement of numerous Conservative Party enrollees(including, as is my understanding, a majority of the Town's Conservative Party Committeepersons) in the form of their signatures on both her designating and opportunity ...more
By NTiger (543), Southampton on Sep 7, 13 12:37 AM
N Tiger. You just destroyed any claim to legitimacy Phil Keith has in this Conservative Party process, a Party with an illegitimate candidate not supported by the Conservative Committee majority just like that other right wing, illegitimate EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF SOUTHAMPTON whose "designated" candidates have also failed to get the explicit support of its many disgruntled Committee members.

These are two Parties that are lurching into irrelevancy and defeat!

These ...more
By Obbservant (449), southampton on Sep 13, 13 10:05 PM
Jim Malone asked Phil to do this, phill is a great guy, not knowing that he is being used. Here is a great article from the post on Malone.

A. power-crazed Hamptons politician locked a young contractor in his Southampton office and subjected him to a bizarre rant after bilking him out of thousands of dollars for work done on his Hampton Bays home, the angry businessman told The Post.
The contractor, Anthony Prosano, 23, says he managed to audio-record the incident, in which the small-time ...more
By Alevine343 (2), Southampton on Sep 7, 13 8:35 PM
To sum it up Malone is a dirtbag
By Alevine343 (2), Southampton on Sep 7, 13 8:36 PM