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Mar 4, 2009 12:05 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Republican Party chairman says Kabot is not a lock to secure nomination

Mar 4, 2009 12:05 PM

With talk on the streets growing louder over this fall’s general election prospects, only one thing is certain: Republican Southampton Town Supervisor Linda Kabot will seek reelection in November.

But there is no guarantee that her party will support her in her bid for a second two-year term.

Marcus Stinchi, chairman of the Southampton Town Republican Party, in an interview this week would not anoint the incumbent, Ms. Kabot—or anyone else—as his party’s designee for supervisor.

“Incumbency is not an entitlement,” Mr. Stinchi said, adding that party members will screen potential candidates this spring, and pick their supervisor candidate at their nominating convention in May. He declined to offer any names that are being discussed behind the scenes.

Mr. Stinchi said that his view on incumbency reflects his general philosophy and should not be interpreted as a personal attack on Ms. Kabot, whose primary challenge in 2007 created a division within the party.

“This is not just about the supervisor or any one individual,” Mr. Stinchi said. “We should consider all qualified citizens who may want to serve.”

If Ms. Kabot does in fact secure the GOP nomination, recent speculation suggests that she could be challenged by Town Councilwoman Anna Throne-Holst. Ms. Throne-Holst, who won election in November 2007 as an independent with Democratic Party endorsement, confirmed this week that she is contemplating a run for supervisor but has not yet made a final decision.

“It’s something that’s crossed my mind,” Ms. Throne-Holst said this week about possibly running for supervisor. “But it’s a serious decision and one that I would have to discuss with my sons, and I would also have to decide if that’s the best possible way for me to serve the town.”

Ms. Throne-Holst also dismissed suggestions that next month’s fund-raiser at the Southampton Publick House, scheduled for April 2 and benefitting “The Committee To Elect Anna Throne-Holst,” has anything to do with a potential run for town supervisor.

Gordon Herr, the chairman of the Southampton Town Democratic Committee, said that next month’s fund-raiser does not mean that Ms. Throne-Holst is running for supervisor, saying it is standard practice for elected officials to hold fund-raisers at least once a year. “You can’t wait until four years later to start raising funds again,” he said. “She doesn’t have much money. I told her she needed to start raising funds.”

He added, however, that he thinks she is a qualified candidate for the town’s top post.

“I’ll be honest: I think Anna would be a really strong candidate,” Mr. Herr said. “But she’s made it quite clear to us that we choose the absolutely best candidate. So we are going to screen people and go through that process.”

Ms. Throne-Holst explained that she did not hold a fund-raiser last year because she did not want to get in the way of the other candidates, including Town Board member Sally Pope, who were running for election.

If she does decide to make a run, Ms. Throne-Holst would have a safe run, meaning that she will still retain her Town Board seat even if she loses her election bid. Her current term runs for four years and expires in December 2011. Ms. Kabot enjoyed the same safety net when she waged a successful primary against former Town Supervisor Patrick Heaney.

In addition to the supervisor post, up for election this year are two Town Board seats, currently held by Chris Nuzzi and Sally Pope, who must run again for a four-year term after attaining the board seat in the fall; highway superintendent; town clerk; and all five Town Trustee seats.

After previously winning election to the Town Board with Republican backing, Ms. Kabot broke party ranks two years ago when she ran a primary and defeated Mr. Heaney. Ms. Kabot’s decision to challenge a seasoned incumbent left a bitter taste in the mouths of some Republican Party committee members.

In late January, Ms. Kabot drafted a letter to Mr. Stinchi and the Republican Town Committee announcing her intention to seek reelection and asking for her party’s support. When asked this week about her chances of winning the party’s nomination, Ms. Kabot said that it was “too early to tell” if there would be a floor fight among party members. She said that the best strategy for her, and other candidates, is to always expect a challenger “in order to keep all incumbent candidates on their toes.”

“Candidates need to earn the support of the voters through hard work and dedication to public service,” Ms. Kabot added.

Those witnessing last week’s Town Board meeting, during which Ms. Kabot and Ms. Throne-Holst argued over a proposal to restructure the town’s embattled financial department, suggested that the November election could be a heated one if both are running for the same seat.

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congratulations marcus! You should change your last name to Borgia!
By native son (9), Cutchogue on Mar 4, 09 3:30 PM
Surprise, surprise.
By RealLocal (76), Bridgehampton on Mar 4, 09 4:33 PM
I guess Linda just has to beat back Marcus again this year
By number19 (111), Westhampton on Mar 4, 09 5:08 PM
Ms. Kabot is really a RINO, no dispersion on the animal. What we need is a committed politician who will REDUCE government, give the citizens the monetary means to decide where to stimulate the economy, and as it relates to the laundry list of stimulus projects are we sure that they will not force an increase in future spending and thus our taxes. Also Ms Kabot has added staff when her constituents are cutting spending to keep afloat. She just doesn't get it.
By tom (53), Hampton Bays on Mar 4, 09 6:17 PM
Contrary to Mr. Stinchi's belief it is about one person - Ms. Kabot. She made that perfectly clear when she was a councilwoman under Mr. Heaney and she continues to make it all about her as supervisor. Attend any Board meeting, whose voice do you here most often, who condescendingly contradicts other Board members most often, who uses the public portion of meeting to voice her point of view while other Board members respectfully listen to the public's comments? Let me give you a hint, her initials ...more
By Viewpoint (26), Southampton on Mar 5, 09 6:28 AM
Let's not worry about who the republicans are going to support - let's just elect a democrat.
By dagdavid (646), southampton on Mar 6, 09 9:40 AM
Hey Viewpoint, who do you think Ms. Kabot learned her manners from? Vincent Cannuscio was rude like no other in Town Hall
By tenn tom (259), remsenburg on Mar 6, 09 10:00 AM
tenn tom , I've dealt with the late Vince Cannucio and found him to be very much the opposite of rude. You're lower than a snake's belly slandering the dead.
By PrivateerMatt (390), Weesuck Creek , EQ on Mar 6, 09 4:03 PM
Let's give Ms Cabot a chance = the situation is dire right now = I recall Ms. Cabot opposing pension benefits for some cops who joined the system at a relatively old age and a tirade of negative comments when she questioned the cost - only to have other board members attack her - you want to contain Town costs? It may be politically difficult. Linda - do it, the Town needs it.
By North of Highway (280), Westhampton Beach on Mar 8, 09 10:27 PM
Kabot...Linda Kabot has had her chance! Look at the state of affairs in Southampton Town. How can she contain town costs if she does not know them?? The board members have been asking for the numbers and Kabot is not providing them because she can't. The supervisor is a poor example of a financial leader.
Yes, Lind Kabot has had her chance.
By SHNative (554), Southampton on Mar 9, 09 8:37 PM
I'm not a big Kabot fan but 14 months isn't really much of "a chance," so that's not really a valid criticism or a fair assessment.

The one thing that can be hung around her delicate little neck is that in the past 14+ months, she really hasn't solidified much of a consensus on the Town Board.

By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Mar 10, 09 11:45 PM