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Sep 20, 2013 4:54 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Kabot Wins Conservative Primary By One Vote

Sep 25, 2013 10:22 AM

The Suffolk County Board of Elections ruled Tuesday that Southampton Town supervisor candidate Linda Kabot was the winner of the Conservative Party primary held two weeks earlier, defeating unofficial challenger Phil Keith by a single vote.

Ms. Kabot defeated Mr. Keith, 73-72, following a ruling by Board of Elections commissioners that six questioned ballots should be counted in her favor.

Ms. Kabot, a Republican from Quogue, will now have her name on the Conservative and Republican lines in the November election, despite attempts by the leadership of the Conservative Party to foil her. Her challenger, incumbent Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst, will have three party lines on the November ballot: the Independence, Democratic and Working Families. She is a registered Independence Party member.

“I’m honored to have the support of the rank-and-file Conservative Party voters in Southampton,” Ms. Kabot said on Tuesday afternoon. “I remain hopeful that the Conservative Party leadership will work with me, for unity of purpose to help achieve victories for the entire Republican-Conservative slate on Election Day.”

Both Ms. Kabot’s running mates, Town Council candidates Stan Glinka and Jeff Mansfield, were endorsed by the Conservative Party leadership.

“I would like to congratulate Linda Kabot on her one-vote victory in the write-in campaign for the Conservative Party line on the November 5th ballot,” Mr, Keith said in a statement on Tuesday evening. “This has been a fascinating couple of weeks. I have learned a number of really interesting and useful lessons about the political process via this campaign.”

All the votes cast in the primary were write-in votes. There were no names on the ballot because the party’s initial candidate, Howard Heckman III, was disqualified by a challenge from Ms. Kabot that invalidated his nominating petition. It was ruled invalid by the Board of Elections because several signatories, including Mr. Heckman and his wife, had already signed a petition nominating Ms. Kabot to be the party’s supervisor candidate.

But Suffolk County Conservative Party Chairman Ed Walsh refused to certify Ms. Kabot’s petition, or give her the party’s endorsement. The party’s Southampton Town leader, Councilman Jim Malone, said at the time that Ms. Kabot’s record while in office of hiking taxes put her out of favor with Conservatives.

When Ms. Kabot forced the primary for the party’s line, the party’s leadership swore to find a candidate it would get behind rather than allowing her to win the election basically by default. Because there were no candidates on the ballot, Conservative Party voters could write in any name they wished. Just three weeks ago the party announced that it was supporting Mr. Keith of Southampton, a member of the Southampton Town Planning Board and a columnist for The Southampton Press, as their candidate.

Mr. Malone represented the party and Mr. Keith at the canvassing of the votes earlier this month in Yaphank, and filed the objections to the six ballots for Ms. Kabot. On Friday, Mr. Keith had asked that the Conservative Party leaders withdraw their challenges to the questioned ballots, though the point was moot by then since the their fate was already in the hands of elections officials.

Ms. Kabot said after the initial canvassing that the flagged ballots all appeared to be in her favor, but had a variety of misspellings that Conservative Party officials insisted invalidated them.

But on Tuesday, both Board of Elections commissioners—Democrat Anita Katz and Republican Wayne Rogers—agreed with Ms. Kabot by ruling that all six votes were clearly intended for her.

“I will continue to campaign on my fiscally conservative record of achievements,” Ms. Kabot said in a statement on Tuesday, “beliefs about smaller, more efficient government and bringing back competent, principled leadership to Southampton Town Hall based upon family values, fiscal responsibility, and having integrity in our local officials.”

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Attention!There is a Gentleman in the room!
By V.Tomanoku (790), southampton on Sep 20, 13 5:18 PM
1 member liked this comment
That was so the conservative votes in Nov. will go to Kabot hoping that along with Rep. votes will win her the election. Southampton Town will go back to old times with a budget in the red.
By left eq (28), Southampton on Sep 20, 13 5:34 PM
Sour grapes -- uneducated, ill-informed sour grapes!
By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Sep 20, 13 9:32 PM
2 members liked this comment

Totally, uninformed and uneducated, who will never be able to back up his opinions with facts. An Anna Throne Holst operative aping her unfounded assertions that when challenged to back her assertions up, simply disintegrate like marshmallows under a roaring flame.
By Obbservant (449), southampton on Sep 20, 13 10:03 PM
Colorful. But as a conservative, I have to say the facts speak for themselves. Phil Keith is a gentleman and is a fiscal conservative. Kabot is a spendthrift and a financial know-nothing. She sat twiddling her pearls while we got $9 million in debt and under her, our town government got to its biggest size ever! I don't want that. Too bad for Keith and too bad for us.
By ConservaGirl (2), Hampton Bays on Sep 30, 13 11:26 AM
2 members liked this comment
OK, Moongirl. Prove on a year to year basis, starting with Skip Heaney all the way to Kabot and Her Majesty Queen Anna Total Town Expenditures from 2002 to 2010 (Linda Kabot's budget done in 2009, her last year), your assertion that Kabot was a spendthrift, using her budgets for 2009 and 2010.

In argumentation and debate rules, she who asserts must prove! Now please don't give me crickets in the night like all the other Anna Throne Holst supporters please with their irresponsible hit and ...more
By Obbservant (449), southampton on Oct 2, 13 10:04 AM
This is, indeed, a "civic" lesson! One that many can learn from perhaps? I'm interested to see how 67 (67! what a shame on registered voters of any party) people are thinking in EH ...
By Board Watcher (534), East Hampton on Sep 20, 13 5:35 PM
A admirable man of honor.
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Sep 20, 13 5:42 PM
2 members liked this comment
MEN OF HONOR are far and few between. I hope we see mr keith again in the future
By ernest wruck (10), eastport on Sep 20, 13 6:51 PM
Mr. Keith is a true Gentleman. I hope we the voters hear from him again, we need more honest people running for office in SH.
By reg rep (408), Southampton on Sep 20, 13 7:06 PM
2 members liked this comment
"No matter what happens, this is a tremendous victory for the members of the Conservative Party. They, not a ‘committee’ or a series of behind-the-scenes maneuvers or petitions will have determined who will represent their interests in the November election."

Indeed! Contrast that to the 4 or 5 members of the "Democratic" Party Executive committee of Southampton who year after election year ramrod primarily Independence Party candidates especially Anna Throne Holst down the ...more
By Obbservant (449), southampton on Sep 20, 13 7:44 PM
By khan (36), hampton bays on Sep 20, 13 11:38 PM
An honorable move, with the added benefit of avoiding from the snake pit of SHT politics . . .

November Ejections right around the corner.

***** NOTA *****
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Sep 23, 13 9:00 AM
A class act Mr. Keith. Its a shame that now you made a decision of your own that effects the outcome, you have now placed yourself at the top of the *&^% list of Mr Walsh and "Get out of MY pool, peon" Malone.
With any luck , the town Republicans will approach you next year.
Please accept if they do.
By But I'm a blank! (1283), Hampton Bays on Sep 23, 13 1:10 PM
1 member liked this comment
Malone is just so sleazy it is still up to the conservative leaders to withdraw their challenges.
By reg rep (408), Southampton on Sep 23, 13 10:28 PM
1 member liked this comment

It appears Walsh and Malone didn't withdraw the Party challenge as requested by Keith. The Board of Elections seems to have simply honored the intent of the six voters of voting for Kabot inspite of minor spelling errors.

Who in the world has never misspelled a name for Pete's sake?
By Obbservant (449), southampton on Sep 25, 13 2:44 AM
1 member liked this comment
Linda, your slips are showing! As bad at spelling as you are at math and finance? You were reckless and derelict as a council person. You're difficult and gratuitously insulting, NOT the class act Phil Keith is. I am sorry you are supposed to represent me. And I wont vote for you.
By ConservaGirl (2), Hampton Bays on Sep 30, 13 11:30 AM
Stand up guy.
By xtiego (698), bridgehampton on Sep 24, 13 6:27 PM
Mr. Keith is a true Conservative because he listens to the people and respects our voice. Maybe leadership should put aside personal feelings and work for a united front as we approach the election. Ms. Kabot is worthy because the people have spoken not party leaders with their own agendas. Ms. Kabot should be aware however we will look to her for true Conservative leadership. We expect nothing less. Well done citizens, Mr. Keith and Ms. Kabot.
By tom (53), Hampton Bays on Sep 24, 13 6:33 PM
Congratulations Linda for your landslide victory.Better days ahead for Southampton.
By Etians rd (543), Southampton on Sep 24, 13 7:19 PM

Linda Kabot has always been the people's choice, singlemindedly focused on public service. Her history has shown even in the Republican Party, that when backroom Party leaders like Heaney, Wruck, Walsh, and Malone pursue their own backroom economic and political agenda, she hasn"t hesitated to take the issues to the people to do the right thing, in Primaries.

She has always known who her bosses are - the people of Southampton, not the scheming, double dealing, self-aggrandizing Party ...more
By Obbservant (449), southampton on Sep 24, 13 7:25 PM
2 members liked this comment
Wow congratulations Linda. Now we have a supervisor race, fasten your seat belts folks this is going to be some wild ride!
By reg rep (408), Southampton on Sep 24, 13 7:46 PM
1 member liked this comment
Mr. Keith, what a breath of fresh air you are in this often times, sleazy world of politics. Also, thanks for having the guts to be a conservative member of the press. Stepping aside for the will of the people (even if it is only six people) is leadership and I pray that you will be very much a part of the political dialogue in months and years to come. I am delighted that at least in Southampton, there will be an actual election, unlike in East Hampton where a bungling Republican leadership orchestrated ...more
By Carole Campolo (46), East Hampton on Sep 24, 13 10:42 PM
1 member liked this comment
BRAVO....................after trying to place a stooge as candidate, democracy works! The conservative party in desperation, allowed Mr. Phillips, or is it mr. Keith?, a writer for the LEFT wing SH Press, to be thier token Touting his harvard ed, ah, like the current occupant of the WH, JUST WHAT we need, RIGHT, he LOST, yes by one vote! America's greatness STANDS, all the Congrats to Linda, now....... and ..on to HER victory!
By carsrus (65), Hampton Bays on Sep 25, 13 12:04 PM
Hey, carsrus, have you ever actually read one of Mr. Keith's wingnut diatribes? Phil Keith is to far-left what Ted Cruz is to humility.
By peoplefirst (787), Southampton on Sep 25, 13 4:42 PM
Wow, have I learned a lot from the past 3 weeks. For the many kind comments above, I thank you. I'd like to try and repay all of you with a couple of, hopefully, incisive columns on this experience. Stayed tuned, as it were, to "Mostly Right," re-commencing in the Press next week.
By Capt. Phil (64), Southampton on Sep 25, 13 1:33 PM
Mr Ketih, allow a word from one of your detractors. I have read your column over the years, far from being a gentlemen you are a bigoted, small-minded, mysoginist, extremist. Of course you find a slew of fans among your fellow wingnuts who, like you, thrive on fear-mongering ignorance, but some of us see you for what you are.

And you know I'm right.
By SidViscuous (26), on Sep 25, 13 4:39 PM
Thanks, "Sid." You made my day...
By Capt. Phil (64), Southampton on Sep 26, 13 8:32 AM
2 members liked this comment