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Jun 2, 2009 6:42 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Throne-Holst to lead Southampton Democrats' November ticket

Jun 2, 2009 6:42 PM

A trio of women has been tapped by the Southampton Town Democratic Party to lead that party’s ticket in November, a race that many Democrats say will be their best chance to wrestle control of Town Hall away from the Republicans.

As has been rumored for months, Town Board member Anna Throne-Holst received the Democratic Party’s endorsement for town supervisor during the group’s nominating convention on Friday evening at the Southampton Inn. Ms. Throne-Holst, who lives in Sag Harbor, will challenge Jim Malone of Hampton Bays. Mr. Malone, a Westhampton native who serves as chairman of Southampton Town’s Conservative Party, received the Republican nomination for supervisor over incumbent Supervisor Linda Kabot during that party’s nominating convention two weeks earlier. Ms. Kabot has pledged to wage a primary battle to try to win back the nomination in October.

Ms. Throne-Holst—who will have a safe run for supervisor, as her current seat does not expire for another two years—will be joined on the Democratic ticket by current Town Board member Sally Pope of Remsenburg, who won her seat in a special election last year, and Sag Harbor attorney Bridget Fleming. Ms. Pope and Ms. Fleming will face the GOP candidates, incumbent Town Board member Chris Nuzzi and political newcomer William Wright, the managing director for Hamptons Mortgage Corporation in East Hampton.

“They’re dedicated, energized and skilled,” said Southampton Town Democratic Party Chairman Gordon Herr of the three Town Board candidates tapped by his political organization on Friday night.

“You want Dream Team? We’ve got Dream Team,” added Ms. Throne-Holst, who thanked the party leaders for placing their trust in her during her brief acceptance speech.

Southampton Democrats also backed Bill Pell and Chris Garvey for Town Trustee, and they will challenge the Republican nominees, incumbents Jon Semlear, Fred Havemeyer, Eric Shultz, Ed Warner Jr. and Brian Tymann.

Also, Alex Gregor was tapped by the Democrats to make his second bid for highway superintendent. Mr. Gregor, who ran an unsuccessful campaign for highway superintendent in 2005 and another unsuccessful bid for town supervisor on the Independence Party line in 2007, will challenge political newcomer John McGann. Mr. McGann was tapped by Town Republicans to replace Highway Superintendent Bill Masterson, who is retiring at the end of this year.

Town Democrats are also backing incumbent Town Justice candidates Deborah Kooperstein and Barbara Wilson. Both women also were endorsed by the Republicans two weeks ago.

Though Mr. Malone is the supervisor candidate chosen by the Republican Party, Ms. Kabot has stated that her party’s support of another candidate will not deter her from making a primary bid to secure the nomination. Two years ago, Ms. Kabot shocked many people when she upset former Town Supervisor Patrick “Skip” Heaney in a primary bid, knocking the incumbent from the Republican line. Ms. Kabot went on to win the general election in November 2007.

Regardless of whom she faces in November, Ms. Throne-Holst said she is pleased with the ticket that town Democrats have pulled together for the November election.

“This is a slate of true professionals who have worked hard to get where they are,” said Ms. Throne-Holst, who, in her brief comments, praised her team and promised consensus if elected. “This is on a level that Southampton has not seen in many, many years.”

Ms. Throne-Holst helped to found the Hayground School and worked as the director of the Bridgehampton Child Care Center before winning her seat on the Town Board in 2007. She holds two master’s degrees from Columbia University, in management and administration, and has a background in non-profit management and education.

A mediation attorney, Ms. Pope had her own practice for 25 years before her surprise upset of incumbent Town Councilman Dan Russo last year. She worked as an adjunct law professor at Hofstra University and the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and was also active in many civic organizations. She received her master’s degree from Cornell University and her law degree from the University of Michigan.

Ms. Fleming, who is also an attorney, worked in the Manhattan District Attorney’s office after graduating from law school in 1991. While in New York, she did pro bono work for the Association of the Bar of the City of New York’s projects to help immigrants and the homeless. She moved to Sag Harbor in 2001.

“This is truly the best slate of candidates we’ve ever had,” said Democratic Party member Julie Penny, who watched the proceedings on Friday night.

Ms. Pope had nothing but praise for Ms. Throne-Holst and her hard line of questioning that helped expose how the town’s finances have been mismanaged under previous Republican-controlled administrations. She also noted during her acceptance speech that Ms. Throne-Holst helped call for an audit of the town’s books by the New York State Comptroller’s office, and for forensic audits of the town’s police and capital budgets.

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A winning team.
By westhamptonboy (227), Westhampton on Jun 1, 09 4:48 PM
The Southampton dems have put together a fantastic team of candidates!
By dagdavid (646), southampton on Jun 1, 09 5:27 PM
This by far the best line up Democrats have had. Don't take it for granted. Remind everyone you encounter about the importance of this election and what it means to this community. Above all, remind everyone you know to vote. Support your candidates in anyway you can.
By JVB (7), Westhampton on Jun 1, 09 5:27 PM
Is there anyone running at the top of the Democratic ticket who is actually from Southampton Town???

Heaney brought in a bunch of employees from Crookhaven, and now the Dems have a group of carpetbaggers running for the Town Board!
By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Jun 1, 09 7:28 PM
Thank goodness Anna Throne-Holst for tossing her hat into the ring.
We need real leadership who will make decisive decisions on behalf of the people of the town. Anna has uncovered this financial mess and now we have the opportunity to put her in the Supervisor’s seat. Throne-Holst has some resume…two masters' degrees from Columbia in management and administration…who knew?
By SHNative (554), Southampton on Jun 1, 09 11:41 PM
Hey Frank, the Heaney group dug the hole and got us into the fiscal mess.

Candidates don't have to be born in Southampton to run, only live here. It's more important to elect competent managers.
Let's get out there and make a change.
By Bob Whyte (48), Hampton Bays on Jun 2, 09 4:16 PM
True, Bob, but it would be nice if they were property owners.
By Terry (380), Southampton on Jun 2, 09 4:19 PM
Great slate of candidates. Gordon Herr and the Dem comm have assembled a professional slate of candidates who, if elected, will bring proper management and business acumen to Southampton Town. The town's best chance to get out of this financial mess is to elect Throne-Holst, Pope and Fleming
By number19 (111), Westhampton on Jun 2, 09 7:37 PM
Had it not been for Anna Throne-Holst we would have never even known about the problems in town hall. In fact, if it were not for ATH, Malone would have never been able to get the GOP nomination. Let's not elect the same (GOP) people who created our problems, let's elect candidates who will bring a new style of leadership in town hall, a style which works for the people of the town rather than the same GOP people who work for the leaders of the Republican Party.
By SHNative (554), Southampton on Jun 2, 09 7:43 PM
Anna Throne Holst is a lightweight with precious little experience, and she comes with a self-interested bad pupeeteer: Frank Zapone. No hope there.
By Phanex (83), Southampton on Jun 2, 09 10:15 PM
INS said:
I don't know about Ms. Kooperstein nor do I know if we will need another special election for her seat in Justice Court or if they will just have the Justices work a real schedule.
What are you talking about here?

SHNative said:
Had it not been for Anna Throne-Holst we would have never even known about the problems in town hall.
It is documented that as Dep County Clerk, Mr Malone was warning the town in Spring of 2008 of the impending disaster. Mortgage ...more
By Terry (380), Southampton on Jun 3, 09 7:02 AM
Again....The people of Southampton Town would not even know about the financial problems without Anna Throne-Holst. She has pushed for fiscal accountability....and will follow through when she is elected as Supervisor.
The problems with the town cannot be fixed by putting the same new Republicans back in office. I agree with you when you say she is not a "Super hero". Few people in life are. A-T-H is a public servant who works on behalf of the people of the Town, and from what I have seen, ...more
By SHNative (554), Southampton on Jun 3, 09 9:33 AM
INS, Judge Kooperstien is coming to the end of a 4 year term ,(her third or 4th I think) and she as well as Judge WIlson have been cross endorsed by the Republicans and Conservatives.

SH NAtive, wrong again, it was Malone who started sending warnings to the Town Board in Spring of 08.
By Terry (380), Southampton on Jun 3, 09 12:27 PM
Anna Throne Holst was sworn in on January 1 '08 and before she knew where the ladies room was she was raising questions about the budget.
By number19 (111), Westhampton on Jun 3, 09 1:18 PM
I am impressed with the credentials and experience of the Democratic ticket. Fleming…a bureau chief of the welfare fraud unit in the Manhattan DA’s office, and A-T-H’s and Pope’s education, not to mention what ATH and Pope have already done on the town board. These are quality professionals.
I am looking forward to knowing the education and backgrounds of the Republican candidates.
By SHNative (554), Southampton on Jun 3, 09 2:19 PM
Easy enough to find out SHNative. But let me remind you of something....see all the open space out here? Yup, all that preservation was started by Marty Lang, he was a sewer digger by profession. It was fine tuned by the Republicans following his leaving office. Look to Easthampton to see how the Dems treat CPF and open preservation, like hogs at a feeding trough.
Two of the three candidate the Dems are offering are RECENT NYC transplants. You know, the city that has elected a REPUBLICAN Mayor ...more
By Terry (380), Southampton on Jun 3, 09 4:39 PM
Fleming's experience at routing out corruption in government is a perfect fit for our town. She was a Bureau Chief in the Manhattan DA’s office. Sounds to me like she will excel as a Southampton town councilwoman. Let’s keep sight of what is important, and that is electing the most qualified people to run town hall. The Slate of Throne-Holst, Pope & Fleming is an awesome ticket that will bring government back to the people of the town and add a sense of much needed professionalism to Town Hall. ...more
By SHNative (554), Southampton on Jun 3, 09 10:32 PM
And they're off...........
Now Ms Pope wants to cancel elections for the Highway Supertintendant does she?
Cause we all know the Dems are more qualified than the voters to select who runs that Department.
This is elitism at it's best. Keep your eyes open folks, they will at least be smiling as the put it to you.
By Terry (380), Southampton on Jun 5, 09 3:01 PM
Just wondering here, can you defend Anna in her hiring of a personal friend to the position of Comptroller? You know in my world, if I were in her position and the new Comptroller was indeed the best at what she did, I'd have to tell that person, "Sorry, it just wouldnt look right for me to hire you". Whyis she retaining the guy who was about to be fired and rewarding him with a $100,000.00 a year job with bennies and civil service protection? For someone who will campaign on a platform ...more
By Terry (380), Southampton on Jun 12, 09 3:47 PM