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May 16, 2011 11:36 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Democrats Pick Slate; GOP Convention Slated For Wednesday

May 17, 2011 6:31 PM

The Southampton Town Democratic Committee nominated a slate of candidates—Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst, Town Councilwoman Bridget Fleming, Northampton resident Brad Bender and Town Trustee Bill Pell—to carry the party’s banner in this year’s town election.

Independence Party members Ms. Throne-Holst and Mr. Pell, along with Democrat Ms. Fleming were nominated to run for reelection to their posts at the party’s convention on Monday night at the old Polish Hall on Elm Street in Southampton Village. Mr. Bender, past president of the Flanders, Riverside and Northampton Community Association, was tapped by the party to run for Republican Town Councilwoman Nancy Graboski’s seat, which will become vacant when she steps down in December because of term limits.

Earlier in the day, both Ms. Graboski and Republican Chris Nuzzi said they would not run for supervisor, ending months of speculation that they would both seek the party’s nomination. The Southampton Town Republican Party convention was scheduled for Wednesday night, May 18, at 7 p.m., at Villa Tuscano in Hampton Bays, at which time a GOP slate was expected to be selected.

November’s town election will determine the fate of three positions on the Town Board currently held by Ms. Graboski, Ms. Throne-Holst and Ms. Fleming.

Monday evening was full of applause and smiles as the Democratic candidates received resounding endorsements and kind speeches from Democratic committee members. The candidates thanked the party for its support, delivering mini speeches of their own outlining past accomplishments and future goals.

Mr. Pell, who has enjoyed support from the Democrats in previous elections, thanked them for the continued endorsement. “I enjoy what I do,” he said. “I enjoy being a Trustee.”

A call for a strong vision with action was the theme Mr. Bender ended his remarks with, while addressing a room full of committee members. “I hereby commit to the people of Southampton to be job ready on day one,” he said.

Both Ms. Fleming and Ms. Throne-Holst reflected on their accomplishments on the Town Board. Ms. Fleming heartily supported Mr. Bender and said the three combined, Ms. Throne-Holst included, would be able to accomplish much in Southampton Town. She said the team would effect great change.

Ms. Throne-Holst thanked former Town Democratic Committee Chairman Mike Anthony, who nominated her at the convention on Monday, as he did two years ago, when she first sought the seat. “It truly is an honor to hear the sense of support, sense of trust and sense of wanting to work together in all of this,” Ms. Throne-Holst said.

The supervisor spoke highly of the effectiveness of a 13-point plan she created when she took office, as well as other accomplishments, such as the creation of the Sustainable Southampton Green Advisory Committee.

She also vowed to soon introduce a resolution that would create deadlines on introducing amendments to the town’s annual budget. Under that resolution, major amendments brought on less than two weeks to the budget adoption would not be permitted to be considered. The move is designed to prevent what occurred this year, Ms. Throne-Holst said, when the town’s Republican-Conservative majority—Ms. Graboski, Mr. Nuzzi and Conservative Councilman Jim Malone—introduced and approved a flurry of last-minute resolutions to the budget.

Rumors that Ms. Graboski would challenge Ms. Throne-Holst for her seat were put to bed this week when the councilwoman confirmed on Monday morning that she will not be seeking higher elective office and will step down at the end of her term in December. Similarly, Mr. Nuzzi, who many in the town’s political circles also thought would seek the GOP nomination, said Monday afternoon that he would not run for supervisor.

In a letter submitted on May 3 to Ernest Wruck, chairman of the Southampton Town Republican Committee, Ms. Graboski, explained that she wants to spend more time with her family. Ms. Graboski, a Republican who has served on the Town Board since 2004, cannot seek reelection to the board because of term limits.

“From day one, I have treated the position as a full-time job and have devoted the bulk of my time and energy to the demands that go with public life,” Ms. Graboski said in the letter. “And while I love what I do, the time has come for me to rejoin my family and to get on with other plans and goals, including spending more time with my grandchildren. And so when my term comes to a close at the end of December, I will step down and will not seek elective office at another level.”

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Thank you for your service, Ms. Graboski, and all the best to you in the future.
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on May 16, 11 2:28 PM
2 members liked this comment
Job well done Nancy
By EastEnd68 (888), Westhampton on May 16, 11 4:47 PM
If Monday is May 16, Wednesday would be May 18 not May 19, Thursday would be May 19. Now May 19 did fall on a Wednesday in 2010.
By NTiger (543), Southampton on May 16, 11 8:00 PM
Sorry, the date has been corrected.
By Bill Sutton, Managing Editor (117), Westhampton Beach on May 17, 11 8:02 AM
Considering that both of them were "Aye" votes in the infamous Kratoville appointment, wise decisions.

It will be interesting to see whom the Republicans will nominate to run against the PBA girls. ATH & ATH2 will have the endorsement of the Conservative Party thanks to their complicity in appointing Chief Wilson, (or the Conservative Party will refrain from endorsing anyone.) If they also receive the nomination of the Democratic Party, they will have the political ideological spectrum ...more
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on May 16, 11 8:15 PM
Nancy is and will always be a class act. Thank you for a job well done.
By Tennyson (77), Quogue on May 17, 11 9:03 AM
So the Southampton democratic committee could not find any actual democrats?
By razza5351 (551), East Hampton on May 17, 11 12:10 PM
By V.Tomanoku (790), southampton on May 17, 11 12:25 PM
There are no Democrats that want to be associated with ATH after her dismal performance thus far.
By EastEnd68 (888), Westhampton on May 17, 11 2:16 PM
Who's Brad Bender???? Oh the guy who has single handedly managed to screw the people of Flanders, Northampton and Riverside...out those precious tax rateables they despertly needed. Now I remember him, Who the hell wants that kind of leadership, Thanks Dems for putting up Brad as your next best man, I mean candidate, candidate. This polyanna is "NOT" board material, what has he done?, besides he's uneducated, no personality, no charisma, etc, etc etc. Oh, if lying to his civic members is the prerequisite ...more
By The Crow's Nest (65), Red Creek on May 17, 11 2:36 PM
Who's this hater and what's his problem? If Bender was so bad for Franka, why'd they keep him?
By clam pie (161), Westhampton on May 17, 11 3:02 PM
We kinda like Brad over the way -- did a good job for us. What does anyone in Red Creek know about our corner of the Town?
By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on May 17, 11 6:28 PM
Good choices by the Dems. Anna Throne-Holst has exceeded all expectations in confronting a Republican-Conservative Town Board majority that aimed to make her a one-term Supervisor. Now it looks like they'll have to scramble to find someone to run against her. How about that?

ATH couldn't have done it without Bridget Fleming, who has given a great deal more than just steadfast support. Ms. Fleming has a courtroon lawyer's sense of timing, making trenchant observations just when they're ...more
By fidelis (199), westhampton beach on May 17, 11 2:45 PM
Yes, they are all good people, but only one of them is actually a registered democrat. Why does this matter? For those who don't know otherwise, the Independence Party is just that, a party, it is not the same as being a registered "independent" or "blank". The Independence Party has a platform that many folks consider to be right leaning.

If you visit the Independence Party website under "about" you will find this: "To be an Organization that will vigorously pursue pro-business policies. ...more
By razza5351 (551), East Hampton on May 17, 11 3:17 PM
Big tent, razz. I personally think it's good to promote business and keep taxes down, as long as you do it without short-changing the little people.

Some of the other Independence Party stuff is troubling, but I believe that at the local level, where we're not lumbered with the big, inflammatory issues of national politics because it's about keeping the streets fixed, etc., we have a great opportunity to reach across and work with folks on the other side. This could be a beginning of ...more
By fidelis (199), westhampton beach on May 17, 11 4:04 PM
When a politician registers with a party it says something about who they are. If you are neither a democrat nor a republican, meaning you do no support either party's platform or core ideals (and they are vastly different) you register blank. If you are neither a democrat or a republican and you register "Independence Party" you are indicating that you stand with that party's platform and ideals - not every single one of them, but many. As I said, Independence is not the same as independent. ...more
By razza5351 (551), East Hampton on May 18, 11 8:40 AM

Razza, your observations are right on point. If one has been here for decades, she would know that the reason for many "Blanks" and "independents" is that Southampton has been controlled for decades by the Republican machine - from businesses, the Planning Board, Town Hall bureaucracy, Town Hall hiring, legal connections to get things done at the ZBA Board, etc, etc.

So if one were to make a living in this town, like Brad Bender does, and many people like like, he can't be identified ...more
By Obbservant (449), southampton on May 18, 11 9:19 AM
I believe Brad Bender is going to do quite well. Actually, Brad does have a lot of charisma and has a lot of knowledge of townwide issues. Brad is also not quite the liberal some of you are trying to paint him as. He is just what he says he is: Independent.

BTW, best wishes to my friend Nancy Graboski. Quite frankly, when I finally got a chance to know her better, I developed a deep appreciation for what a truly classy woman of integrity she is. God speed Nancy!
By Integrity Party Guy (26), Riverhead on May 17, 11 8:08 PM

Integrity Party: You said it right. Nancy Graboski is the bright light of the Republican Party and the Town, who almost has as much support in the Democratic Party as she does in the Republican Party. She coulf have been the independent unifying force in southampton.

he has Solid integrity, with the town's best interests at heart regardless of party affiliation. She could have been Anna's ace in the hole to get progressive legislation and initiatives done and her two years could have ...more
By Obbservant (449), southampton on May 18, 11 10:01 AM
A little obsessed with Anna, aren't you, Obbservant? As I said, let's see who the Republicans put up to oppose her, and Bridget Fleming, and Brad Bender. They may come up with a great slate. Or they may not.
By fidelis (199), westhampton beach on May 18, 11 8:38 PM
The GOP nominated Nuzzi for Supervisor. What a disgrace.
By G (342), Southampton on May 19, 11 7:12 AM