hamptons local events, express news group

Story - News

May 27, 2009 2:47 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Malone no stranger to politics

May 27, 2009 2:47 PM

The 47-year-old Westhampton native selected by the Southampton Town Republican Committee to carry the party’s banner this election season for town supervisor may be an outsider to the GOP, but he is no stranger to politics.

Jim Malone, who now lives in Hampton Bays, is the chairman of the town’s Conservative Party, though Mr. Malone said he would relinquish that post should he be elected to the town’s top post. Should he win, Mr. Malone said he would also resign from his current position as a Suffolk County deputy clerk.

Mr. Malone said his role as the Conservative Party leader significantly influenced him to throw his hat into the ring for supervisor.

“I kept going around looking for candidates to run on the Conservative line,” Mr. Malone said. “And I kept running into great people who said they’d love to serve but did not want to step into that toxic environment. It occurred to me that I couldn’t keep asking people to serve if I was not willing to do so myself.”

One of the pillars of Mr. Malone’s campaign, he said, was to restore civility to politics and move away from party labels. “Good ideas are good ideas,” he said. “And they come from all corners.”

In particular, Mr. Malone said his financial background—a decade as a bond trader on Wall Street and his present job in the county clerk’s office—qualifies him to tackle the challenges currently plaguing Town Hall. Highlighting his fiscally conservative philosophy, Mr. Malone said a top to bottom review of slated projects was needed at Town Hall in order to curb spending.

“Some projects may need to be put on the back burner,” he said. “We need to stop the spending spree and provide the services we can afford.”

Mr. Malone said, if elected, he would govern on fundamental Republican values. “We need to return to smaller government and lower taxes,” he said.

After graduating from Westhampton Beach High School, Mr. Malone studied engineering and industrial management at Clarkson University, where he began his political career in school government as president of his class. After a brief stint working on a congressional campaign, Mr. Malone worked for 10 years on Wall Street before enrolling in Touro Law School, where he earned his degree.

As a lawyer, Mr. Malone has worked in the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office and as a public defender and has also served as a volunteer fireman.

Other Newcomers

The GOP also put a couple of newcomers on its ticket at last week’s convention with John McGann of Hampton Bays as the party designee to replace retiring Highway Superintendent Bill Masterson and William Wright to run with incumbent Chris Nuzzi for one of two slots on the Town Board.

Mr. McGann is a 23-year veteran of the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department who began his career as a sergeant, became an investigator and retired as a lieutenant. He is currently employed as a court officer for East Hampton Town and works in private security.

The longtime law enforcement officer—educated at Southampton College and a graduate of the Suffolk County Police Academy—said he has managed as many as 82 sheriffs during his tenure with the sheriff’s office and said he wants to bring that experience to the Highway Department.

“My experience tells me that you can’t make changes from the outside looking in,” the 54-year-old McGann said. “I don’t want to make knee-jerk judgements. I want to get in there and take a hard, sharp look at the department and see how we can do more with less.”

Mr. McGann said it was the perfect time in his life for a foray into politics. “My kids are grown and I can really commit to the job. It’s a time in my life where I can give something back to my community,” he said. “This job really fits me. I believe I can step in and do good for the town.”

To run alongside veteran Councilman Mr. Nuzzi, Republican leaders picked William Wright of East Quogue. Mr. Wright, who graduated from Southampton High School and holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing and finance from Marist College, is the managing director for Hamptons Mortgage Corporation in East Hampton.

Mr. Wright said he was excited to be part of Southampton’s future and was going to fight to strengthen the town’s GOP.

“We need to focus on the future,” Mr. Wright said. “But we also need to learn from the past.”

The first-time office seeker said he was most passionate about workforce housing, especially for the town’s first responders.

“We need to help our cops and firefighters,” Mr. Wright said. “They are the backbone of this community.”

You've read 1 of 7 free articles this month.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

"Smaller government and lower taxes" = same old conservative nonsense that destroyed our economy
By dagdavid (646), southampton on May 28, 09 4:06 PM
And your solution is what,?
By Terry (380), Southampton on May 28, 09 4:26 PM
A democrat.
By dagdavid (646), southampton on May 29, 09 1:18 PM
so you're advocating for big government and high taxes?
By ridiculous (214), hampton bays on May 29, 09 2:41 PM