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Feb 4, 2011 9:25 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton GOP Screens Candidates For 2011 Campaign

Feb 4, 2011 9:25 AM

The first stirrings of what promises to be an active 2011 campaign season came from the Southampton Town Republican Committee this week: it will begin screening potential candidates for key political seats in Southampton Town that will be up for grabs in nine months, including town supervisor.

Seats held by Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst and councilwomen Nancy Graboski and Bridget Fleming are subject to vote this year. The five Town Trustee seats are also up for election, as well as those held by Town Justice Edward Burke and Tax Receiver Theresa Kiernan.

The GOP screenings were expected to take place yesterday, February 2, at 7 p.m. in Hampton Bays at the Villa Tuscano restaurant.

Ms. Throne-Holst, an Independence Party member, confirmed this week that she will seek reelection. Ms. Graboski, a Republican who is prevented from running for reelection to the Town Board due to term limits, said this week she has been considering a run for supervisor but has not yet made a decision. Ms. Fleming, a Democrat, hasn’t formally announced her plans to run but said that if asked by the Independence or Democratic parties to run, she’d step up to the challenge.

Town Board members Chris Nuzzi, a Republican long considered a potential challenger to Ms. Throne-Holst, and Jim Malone, a Conservative, did not return calls seeking comment this week.

Town Republican Committee Chairman Ernest Wruck said this week that he has asked individuals to screen for the positions, and some have expressed an interest in certain seats, but he declined to specify who and for which positions.

He said he has had conversations with Mr. Nuzzi, Mr. Malone and Ms. Graboski about the subject of who will run for supervisor, but he was coy about what those conversations entailed. “It means I’ve discussed with all three the subject of supervisor,” Mr. Wruck said, when pressed to explain. “At this point, I’ll leave a little mystery to it.”

Mr. Wruck said he asked the three not to screen this week, so he could get a sense of others in the community who are interested, noting that everyone on the committee is familiar with Mr. Malone, Mr. Nuzzi and Ms. Graboski. He also said he extended an invitation to Independence Party Chairman Steve Lynch to invite to screen anyone who would be interested in GOP support.

On Tuesday, Town Trustee William Pell IV, who is also vice chairman of the Independence Party, confirmed that Mr. Wruck reached out to him, as well as Independence Party member Brad Bender, who has already announced his plans to seek a seat on the Southampton Town Board. Mr. Pell said he expected to screen with the Republicans yesterday.

“The way I look at it, if you have the offer, you should go, because you have to keep an open mind,” Mr. Pell said.

Mr. Bender said he never received a formal invitation from the Republicans. He said he will not be screening with the Republicans this week.

Southampton Town Democratic Committee Chairman Gordon Herr said this week that his party is not screening candidates until March. He said he has got at least five or six people who are interested in seats on the Town Board, but he declined to name anyone. He also said the party is likely putting up five candidates for the Town Trustees, as well as candidates for the positions held by Ms. Kiernan and Mr. Burke.

Mr. Herr said he hopes Ms. Fleming does decide to run again. He also said he would invite Independence Party candidates to screen with the Democrats.

Ms. Graboski said that her party’s screening seems early compared to previous years. She said that while she’s considering running for supervisor, she’s also taking into account the time commitment and responsibility involved with the role.

She said she’s had conversations with Mr. Nuzzi about the supervisor position but isn’t speculating on whether he is interested in running. Mr. Malone has indicated previously that he thinks both Ms. Graboski and Mr. Nuzzi are considering running for supervisor.

Ms. Graboski doesn’t think there will be a fight for the position within the party, and neither does Mr. Wruck. “I think we are united as a party in a way we haven’t seen in years,” Mr. Wruck said. “I’m sure at the end we will pick who we feel is the best person.”

Mr. Wruck said this campaign’s focus will be on financial issues, specifically the $79.9 million budget crafted largely by the Republican-Conservative majority, which resulted in a decrease in taxes this year by just under 1 percent, compared to Ms. Throne-Holst’s proposal, which would have raised taxes. “I think for the average voter, you can probably stop right there,” he said. “I think that’s the most single important thing.”

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So the Republicans manage to lower taxes by less than one per cent, but they don't tell you it will cost in the end because of the Town's debt. Then they turn around and force the hiring of a guy we never heard of to run a department we don't need for $150,000 a year, plus the cost of all the people to staff that department -- one person was just hired for it at $70,000 a year. And this is what they think will bring them victory in November? Yeah, right, Ernie, you can stop right there. What ...more
By fidelis (199), westhampton beach on Feb 2, 11 9:36 PM
As long as they provide a tax cut in an election year many people will vote for them, even if the cut is a fake that has to be payed back later with interest. This is what Republicans do.
By METCOMedia (116), Hampton Bays on Feb 2, 11 10:14 PM
What does that say about the intelligence of the voters. Its really sad.
By sunshine (47), southampton on Feb 7, 11 10:09 AM
As if it really matters. The talent pool is a dim one and the political parties are indistinguishable. Imagine these fools having to get a job in the real world and the real market place. All they know how to do is fight and spend money and beef up their egos.
By Phanex (83), Southampton on Feb 3, 11 3:20 AM
Rohma, you've written "the Independence or Democrat parties" -- that's wrong, it's "Democratic party," not "Democrat party." You got the adjective right in another paragraph, referring to the "Democratic Committee." The term "Democrat party" is only used by Republicans and rednecks as a provocation.
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Feb 4, 11 12:43 AM
Thanks for pointing out the typo, it has been corrected.
By Bill Sutton, Managing Editor (117), Westhampton Beach on Feb 4, 11 7:03 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By RealityFirst (597), Bridgehampton on Feb 6, 11 12:37 PM
they're=their
By RealityFirst (597), Bridgehampton on Feb 6, 11 12:37 PM
Does the Kabot acquittal change things here?

Time to clean house on The East End of all "under the radar" decision-making IMO.

This would include the recent appointment of Mr. Kratoville by The Troika.

Shameful back-room politics indeed!
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Feb 4, 11 6:54 PM
As I remember it LK was not much liked by the republicans before this whole incident. She tossed Heaney overboard to become Supervisor. Then they tried to make Malone their candidate over LK. She had to fight her own party on that. So I would not expect any attempt on their part to push for her. That's if she's interested.
By V.Tomanoku (790), southampton on Feb 5, 11 10:09 AM
The only way you honestly cut taxes is by cutting spending. The Democratic Supervisor Throne Holst proposed a budget that would increase spending to $81 million and the in the budget process looked to push that to almost $85 million. The Republicans cut that back to $79 million. When voters get done sifting through the alternative realities and partisan posturing of Turkey, Fidelis, and the like, it is probably where they will stop.
By DJII13 (155), Hampton Bays on Feb 5, 11 10:46 AM
A couple of indisputable facts for you and the readers, DJ:

FACT - The Supervisor's proposed budget eliminated the Business Management (formerly General Services) Department entirely, saving the entire cost of that agency.

FACT - The Republicans Chris Nuzzi and Nancy Graboski, and the Conservative Jim Malone, as the majority on the Town Board, reversed the elimination of the Business Management Department and kept it operating, along with its cost burden to the town.

FACT ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Feb 10, 11 9:51 PM
WANTED: Candidate for Town Supervisor. Must be a fierce proponent of real estate development; a dedicated long-time party hack; experienced in campaign malfeasance, cronyism and graft; and must take orders from the national party without question or delay. Successful candidates who win an election will be rewarded with full-benefit, no-show public service jobs when their terms expire.
By Noah Way (450), Southampton on Feb 5, 11 12:18 PM
1 member liked this comment
Please come to the Republican screening an present your credentials. All are welcome with the exception of anyone who has had any dealings with the Southampton Republican Party in the last twelve years.

What we are looking for are candidates who were totally ignorant or the hide-the-pea finances of the Skip Heaney years and were inactive during those few years when a former Supervisor of ours alienated our good friends the STPD.

Above all, a pragmatic approach to ethical behavior ...more
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Feb 6, 11 12:17 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By razza5351 (551), East Hampton on Feb 6, 11 12:49 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By RealityFirst (597), Bridgehampton on Feb 6, 11 1:39 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By peoplefirst (787), Southampton on Feb 6, 11 2:41 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Noah Way (450), Southampton on Feb 6, 11 4:34 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By RealityFirst (597), Bridgehampton on Feb 7, 11 11:11 AM
You need to be put on a government watch list.
By razza5351 (551), East Hampton on Feb 7, 11 11:33 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By RealityFirst (597), Bridgehampton on Feb 7, 11 12:22 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By DJII13 (155), Hampton Bays on Feb 6, 11 2:34 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By peoplefirst (787), Southampton on Feb 6, 11 2:44 PM
1 member liked this comment
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By RealityFirst (597), Bridgehampton on Feb 7, 11 11:13 AM
We need to get outside of the usual list of cronies and start seeking representation that truly cares about individual residents and their neighborhoods, not just development and commerce, but quality of life and environmental issues. There is no reason local politics should be played using the same rules as national elections.

Moderator: Rhetoric like that of realityfirst above is truly beyond the bounds of rational discussion.
By progressnow (556), sag harbor on Feb 7, 11 11:56 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By RealityFirst (597), Bridgehampton on Feb 7, 11 12:29 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By peoplefirst (787), Southampton on Feb 7, 11 7:54 PM
1 member liked this comment
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By razza5351 (551), East Hampton on Feb 7, 11 8:48 PM
I hope they have better luck than the teaparty caucus which now consists of exactly 3 members.
By razza5351 (551), East Hampton on Feb 8, 11 8:23 AM
This is crazy stop with the censorship
By joe hampton (3461), south hampton on Feb 9, 11 4:56 AM
Joe, you may be right or you may be wrong, but I'm wishing I'd seen it all before it got taken down.
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Feb 9, 11 12:44 PM