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Aug 25, 2010 9:28 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Community activist from Northampton announces plan to run for Southampton Town Board

Aug 25, 2010 9:28 AM

A civic leader who has been a living in Southampton Town for more than two decades said he plans to make his first bid for public office in November 2011.

Brad Bender, a home improvement contractor from Northampton who now serves as president of the Flanders, Riverside and Northampton Community Association, has created a website announcing his intention of seeking the Suffolk County Independence Party nomination for a chance to win a seat on the five-member Southampton Town Board.

“I’m an unknown in the town,” said Mr. Bender, explaining why he is launching his campaign 15 months before the 2011 election. “The people of Flanders know me, but for me to be effective in the campaign, I need to start now. I need to meet people and go to other civic associations so I can work to be an all-inclusive legislator.”

Steven Lynch, the chairman of the Southampton Independence Party, said this week that while they have not yet spoken, he is aware of Mr. Bender’s interest in running for office and expects that they will be “speaking to each other in the near future.”

Mr. Bender said he wants to vie for one of two seats that will open up in January 2012. Those two seats are currently held by Town Councilwoman Nancy Graboski, a Republican who will not be able to seek reelection due to term limits, and Bridget Fleming, a Democrat who won a special election this past March. If she chooses, Ms. Fleming will have the opportunity to run for her first full, four-year term in November 2011.

Mr. Bender also serves as chairman of the Southampton Rose Society, and is a member of the Southampton coalition, a group made up of community leaders who live west of Shinnecock Canal. Before moving to Northampton eight years ago, Mr. Bender lived in Hampton Bays for 10 years, and East Quogue for four years.

“I got involved with the community because I love the people and the community in the Town of Southampton,” Mr. Bender said. “I want to be involved so I can give back and know [that] the members of our community are served.”

Mr. Bender said he will formally announce his candidacy at a campaign fund-raiser, entitled “The Rat Pack Now,” that will be held on Wednesday, September 15, at 7 p.m., at 230 Elm in Southampton. Tickets cost $150 per person and can be ordered by calling 678-7703.

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Haven't had any representation from this corner of Town EVER!

By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Aug 25, 10 4:19 PM
Oh Great!? Because Community Activists have show great success in politics, I mean, look how great we're doing now with our Indonesian Muslim Community Activits Pres!
By HW Jablome (21), southampton on Aug 25, 10 4:33 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By CaptainSig (716), Dutch Harbor on Aug 25, 10 9:14 PM
Aug 25, 10 11:22 PM appended by DJ9222
This comment was aimed at the community activist statement
By DJ9222 (85), southampton on Aug 25, 10 11:22 PM
Jablome, how can we ever get anywhere in this country as long as people like you insist on lying and spreading hate? Your kind is destroying the fabric of our society, but I do take solace in knowing that you are a minority, a vocal one to be sure, but a minority nonetheless. Find happiness and success in your own life and you'll find the need to hate diminishes greatly.
By progressnow (556), sag harbor on Aug 26, 10 3:29 PM
fabric of society....now where have i heard that bull before.....oh that's where. ath uses it in most of her rhetoric. go away blowhard
By uncleronk (136), southold on Aug 30, 10 11:16 AM
I'm going to presume you agree with me and cannot refute my statement in any way, but you're just frustrated that someone actually wrote that. Didn't mean to offend you but if you are aware of any community activists that have done well in politics, have at it. If you have any proof that the pres. is not an Indonesian Muslim, have at that too.
By HW Jablome (21), southampton on Aug 26, 10 6:18 AM
Your evidence for him being Indonesian is....?
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Aug 26, 10 9:14 AM
You know, perhaps I'm wrong. Maybe you're saying that just because our community activist president who is an indonesian muslim that makes jimmy carter look like albert einstein, doesn't necessarily mean this community activist will be a huge mistake like the other community activist. Meh, maybe you're right.
By HW Jablome (21), southampton on Aug 26, 10 6:21 AM
Don't they limit your computer time at the home?
By peoplefirst (787), Southampton on Aug 26, 10 3:32 PM

Or present commander in Chief was not a community activist. He was a community organizer.

By Draggerman (955), Southampton on Aug 26, 10 7:11 AM
Good luck. However, perhaps the choice of name of Rat Pack Now is less than inspiring. Rat pack, definitions: an organized group which won't let outsiders join, a group of entertainers who brawl and drink, a group with no social conscience, a group, etc etc. etc. it doesn't get better. Rethink quick. Most compelling, I can't see writing a check to this name.
By reasoned judgment (1), southampton on Aug 26, 10 7:48 AM
The Rat Pack in this case refers to entertainers who do a "tribute" type performance of Frank SInatra, Joey Bushop and Sammie Davis. I saw then in Vegas a few years back and they do a great job.
You're taking political correctness to a new level here,
By Terry (380), Southampton on Aug 26, 10 3:47 PM
1 member liked this comment
Now to the article...
Mr. Bender. It is good to see members of the community step up and offer their time and skills to the community.
Good Luck to you!
By SHNative (554), Southampton on Aug 26, 10 10:02 AM
Mr. Bender is teaching us all a lesson by starting to learn what the rest of the town is all about in advance of the campaign so that when he speaks with community and civic groups he'll know what he is talking about. How refreshing to have someone (if he wins) hit the ground running. I've seen him at most town board meetings recently too so I now know who he is and what he looks like.
By EastEndHomie (27), Southampton on Aug 26, 10 2:18 PM
I'd like to add to the sentiments congratulating this announced candidate for selflessly spending his valuable free time, while working full-time to make ends meet, in order to educate himself on all of the issues facing the entire Town of Southampton. We are lucky that people like him are willing to run for office when they are subjected to such hatred and gratuitous animus from some of the residents. Thank you Brad Bender!
By sirpoochala (78), Hampton Bays on Aug 26, 10 5:19 PM
Thank you for your support To clarify the event is An Evening With the Rat Pack.They are a world class tribute act and Dean Martin is the son of a local resident. It is clearly my intention to hit the ground running and the commitment is to the people of Southampton. I consider myself a community leader and not an activist which infers that I have an agenda that I clearly do not, unless standing for the people of this great place we call home an agenda.I look forward to meeting and speaking with ...more
By Brad (28), southampton on Aug 27, 10 8:48 AM
Mr. Bender, If you are willing to stand against developers and PDD land-grabs, please make it known and you will have the support of many. It wouldn't hurt to refuse any developer campaign funds.
By peoplefirst (787), Southampton on Aug 27, 10 4:26 PM
1 member liked this comment
Just curious...do you live in a cave? Perhaps a lean to in the forest? If not someone, say a developer, bulldozed some trees , employed workers and built your house.
If you want what little open space is left to be free from "developers" then go buy it. The CPF buys as much as they can, but it is known that Long Island as a whole will be "built out" by 2020.
By Terry (380), Southampton on Aug 30, 10 11:25 AM
PBR Just hit 450 comments!!!
By HW Jablome (21), southampton on Aug 27, 10 4:33 PM
Well, your voice, and the right to freely use it, is one of the greatest freedoms there is.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Aug 29, 10 3:48 PM