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May 20, 2009 1:24 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

GOP passes over Kabot; nominates Conservative Party chair

May 20, 2009 1:24 PM

The Southampton Town Republican Committee broke from political orthodoxy Monday night, nominating an outsider in the race for town supervisor this fall instead of incumbent Supervisor Linda Kabot.

Town Republican leaders tapped attorney Jim Malone, a Suffolk County deputy clerk, a former bond trader on Wall Street and the chairman of the town’s Conservative Party, for the GOP line on the November ballot. The vote by party leaders at Monday’s convention, held at the Villa Tuscano restaurant in Hampton Bays, fell better than two-to-one in Mr. Malone’s favor, with the challenger receiving 3,161 of the represented election district votes to Ms. Kabot’s 1,256 votes.

After the paper ballots were tallied, Mr. Malone said the nomination was “the highest honor of my life” and vowed to campaign on traditional Republican values of smaller government and lower taxes, and to restore civility and public confidence. “I’m so grateful for this honor,” he said. “I’m truly humbled.”

The GOP also nominated incumbent Chris Nuzzi and newcomer William Wright for the two seats on the Town Board; John McGann for highway superintendent, to replace the retiring Bill Masterson; incumbent Town Clerk Sundy Schermeyer; incumbent Town Trustees Jon Semlear, Fred Havemeyer, Eric Shultz, Ed Warner Jr., and Brian Tymann; and incumbent Town Justices Barbara Wilson and Deborah Kooperstein.

Though disappointed in the committee’s choice for supervisor, Ms. Kabot said Monday night’s vote would not deter her from taking her case to the people and trying to win the party’s nomination with a primary bid this October.

“There’s a lingering feeling that I didn’t win in 2007 fairly and squarely because I didn’t have the party’s blessing,” Ms. Kabot said. “And what they’ve done now is handpicked a Conservative Party leader and totally snubbed the sitting Republican supervisor who helped set a new tone and an agenda that’s transparent.”

Just as she did in 2007 when she challenged Mr. Heaney, then the Republican incumbent supervisor, Ms. Kabot said she is prepared to wage another primary fight and vowed she would win.

Town Councilwoman Nancy Graboski, who was booted off the GOP ticket in 2007, said she was disappointed with the party leaders. “This looks like a repeat performance of 2007,” Ms. Graboski said. “The committee had a real chance to unite behind Linda with a solid ticket and the potential to sweep in November.” Now, Ms. Graboski, midway through her second term, said the committee’s choice to pass over Ms. Kabot hurts the party’s chances in the general election. “It seems the committee has lost touch with the rank and file,” she said. Ms. Graboski expressed confidence in Ms. Kabot’s chances of defeating Mr. Malone in the upcoming primary battle that Ms. Kabot has vowed to wage. “Linda is very strong among the rank and file and they rescued her before and I believe they’ll do so again.” Ms. Graboski said she would be supporting Ms. Kabot’s reelection bid 100-percent.

“As my teenage son likes to say, ‘It’s time to open up a can of whoop-ass,’” Ms. Kabot said after the convention. “In all seriousness, I feel that many in the party leadership forgot about the rank and file, the voters, and that’s how I plan to win this nomination, just as I did in 2007. I am going to vigorously campaign to win once again.”

In a press release he issued after the convention, GOP Chairman Marcus Stinchi said Ms. Kabot was responsible for her own demise by making what he said were false claims in an article published in The Southampton Press last week, just before the convention, about party interference in her decision to go public about the town’s financial plight.

“Let me be clear: Supervisor Kabot screened before our committee and said she wanted and needed our guidance. And the guidance she got was ‘Stop pointing fingers—no one cares who is to blame. The people want and need solutions to the problems,’” Mr. Stinchi said in the statement issued on Tuesday afternoon. He added that he advised the supervisor to wait until all the numbers and facts were in before going to press.

“For her to solicit what most folks would think is sound advice and then turn around and use it against the committee to spin a rationale for running a primary sealed her fate, I think, with the people whose support she was seeking.”

Ms. Kabot, however, stood by her claims and said the GOP press release, crafted by David Willmott, the campaign manager for former supervisor Patrick Heaney—a political rival who was the supervisor when she bested him in a 2007 primary vote to capture the Republican nomination—was just more of the same.

“They question my style of governance, which is very inclusive,” Ms. Kabot said. “Some of the criticism I received from the party, that I did ask for, was fair. But what’s unfair is that the party leaders want to silence and unseat me. It’s unbelievable that their nose is out of joint because of me going to the press about taxpayer dollars and working from an open-book model of governance.

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Run Linda, Run!!!
By North of Highway (280), Westhampton Beach on May 19, 09 9:29 AM
This guy has no chance.
By Mr Suffolk (113), Twin Forks on May 19, 09 12:22 PM
Leave it to your teenage son to say "lets open a can of whoop-ass," not our supervisor. Show some tact.
By oceanview (15), hampton bays on May 19, 09 12:30 PM
Good bye to both Linda and the Republicans in 2009
By westhamptonboy (227), Westhampton on May 19, 09 1:56 PM
I'll still vote for Linda and Anna !
By PrivateerMatt (390), Weesuck Creek , EQ on May 19, 09 2:02 PM
Well, Matt, you do realize, that if Linda wins she will be running against Anna?
By Terry (380), Southampton on May 19, 09 2:06 PM
Huh ? Well if that happens I'll have to vote for Anna.
By PrivateerMatt (390), Weesuck Creek , EQ on May 19, 09 2:18 PM
Just what Southampton needs - a conservative wall street vet who runs on "traditional republican values" As a democrat I could not be happier.

By the way, "open up a can of whoop-ass"? Linda, that speaks volumes about you. Good bye and good riddance.
By peoplefirst (787), Southampton on May 19, 09 7:59 PM
she still has plenty of time to issue rules against dogs, cats, goldfish and cockatoos inside Town Hall.... and to find those missing millions from the town's bank account!
By littleplains (305), olde england on May 19, 09 8:06 PM
Why is the Southampton republican party so bent on self destruction?What could be simpler than nominating an incumbent to run for office.Marcus Stinchi you should be replaced by a real elected leader like Linda

By native son (9), Cutchogue on May 19, 09 10:53 PM
Hey Linda, stop stinkin' up the place and face reality.
By landarchi (33), Southampton on May 19, 09 11:27 PM
How ironic, Malone, who manages to obtain a nice gig as deputy county clerk, a no show, patronage job if there ever was one, is running on a platform of smaller government.
By CommonSense (71), Southampton on May 20, 09 12:26 PM
Common Sense, (who doesn't have any)
The position is a 40 hour a week job, and I know Mr. Malone burns the midnight oil quite frequently. I am sure if you reach out to him, he willl be happy to inform you as to all of his duties and let you see the number of hours he puts in on a weekly basis.
Please put your brain in gear before you spread completly unfounded BS on a forum.
By Terry (380), Southampton on May 20, 09 1:55 PM
The Republicans and Mr. Stinchi are wise in looking elsewhere. Linda is good at never taking responsibility ... she's always blaming someone else. Whatever happened to the "buck stops here?"

As a Councilwoman and now Supervisor a little "rolling up of the sleeves" when the multimillion dollar fiscal mess was uncovered would have shown leadership on her part. Instead she spends all her time blaming Skip Heaney and the last administration. Way to go, Linda ... you really think the beleaguerd ...more
By JimmyKBond (156), Hampton Bays on May 20, 09 5:40 PM
The republicans are just getting revenge because she ran a primary two years ago and kicked heaney's butt, the GOP's good ole boy who cooked the books in town.
By ridiculous (214), hampton bays on May 20, 09 10:30 PM
Terry, thank you for your comment, I stand corrected on Mr. Malone and apologize to him. I believe that the Town needs important issues addressed, and that is only accomplished when dealing with facts not B.S. Mea culpa.......
By CommonSense (71), Southampton on May 21, 09 10:37 AM
The Republicans are not "getting revenge" by going for Malone over Kabot. They are being very practical, beliving Malone will restore fiscal conservative principles to town management where Supervisor Kabot (most Republicans hold a disdain for Heaney, Kabot and an incompetent previous Board's failure to protect taxpayer dollars) has little knowledge of finances and no particular training in budgets. The GOP wants to fix the mess of town finances made by the past Town Boards -- including the current ...more
By JimmyKBond (156), Hampton Bays on May 21, 09 4:25 PM
It was "stand up" for you to post that. I am sure, Jim being the gentlemen that he is will gladly accept the apology, and consider it water under the bridge. Have a great Memorial Day weekend.
By Terry (380), Southampton on May 21, 09 6:16 PM
At first, I thought Jim Malone was merely lame, when I read that the only criticism he could level at Anna Throne-Holst was her lack of party affiliation. Then, I learned that he's also inconsistent, saying that it's time to move away from party labels and "be supervisor for everyone." Give me a break.
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on May 21, 09 9:57 PM
Good-Bye Linda---good luck to your new career as an lawyer...as for Anna and the people that continue to vote party lines...you still insist on not useing your brains! I know now to look at pictures in papers and see who the "friends"are that are backing the future candidates...I know now that what is said is not always the truth...I will be voteing on past character and associates and business deals that were made with the potential candidates.
I hope all that vote are able to do the same ...more
By UNITED states CITIZEN (207), SOUTHAMPTON on May 22, 09 9:45 AM
I agree native son. I moved here permanently more than 15 yrs ago from Washington DC & NYC where Republicans are the minority. National Republicans view this local party is a disgraceful joke! They don't see it following Republican Party lines, they think the local party is filled with escapees from mental institutions, and they don't want to be bothered with the childish games played by Cmtee members for the last 25+ years (true quotes!). Shame on you all! Your egos are splitting a [formerly] ...more
By npd (1), Southampton on May 22, 09 6:26 PM
you don't think the deputy County Clerk is not a patronage job? of course it is. when was the last time you heard of any announcement that the job was open for competitive application? if you think he is such a hard worker, give him a ring in a couple of weeks, morning noon or afternoon and see if he is there; you will be asked to leave yr name & phone #.
Look who is the Suffolk Co Clerk, a political hack with close ties to the conservati party.
will he now register as a Re publican? who ...more
By mo (89), Sag Harbor on May 23, 09 1:00 AM
INS...It was Throne-Holst who persisted in uncovering the financial problems of the town. The current supervisor stonewalled her for months. Had it not been for A-T-H the people would still be in the dark. Why the heck didn’t Nuzzi, Grabowski or Kabot for that matter press the financial issues years ago? Because they would never cross their own party member…you know the party that is running the town. A-T-H is experienced, well educated and is not party affiliated…she is a “blank”. This town needs ...more
By SHNative (554), Southampton on May 24, 09 4:29 PM
If Mr. Malone wins the election for Town Supervisor, does he have to resign his position with the County? Anyone know the answer?
By CommonSense (71), Southampton on May 26, 09 10:09 AM