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Nov 4, 2009 1:26 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Throne-Holst unseats Kabot as Southampton Town supervisor; Republicans maintain board majority

Nov 4, 2009 1:26 PM

Southampton Town Councilwoman Anna Throne-Holst handily defeated one-term Republican incumbent Town Supervisor Linda Kabot on Tuesday and will take over the town’s top post, though the GOP retained a majority control of the Town Board.

Ms. Throne-Holst received 6,884 votes, or almost 58 percent of all ballots cast in the race, while Ms. Kabot received 4,990 votes, or 42 percent, according to unofficial results reported by the Suffolk County Board of Elections. Incumbent Councilman Christopher Nuzzi and first-time candidate Jim Malone, both Republicans, took the two Town Board seats up for grabs, besting Democrats Sally Pope, an incumbent, and Bridget Fleming.

That means Ms. Throne-Holst will serve on a board with a majority of three Republicans; GOP Town Councilwoman Nancy Graboski also sits on the board. A fifth seat—the one Ms. Throne-Holst will vacate to take over the supervisor post—will be up for grabs in a special election in early 2010.

“This has been a wonderful, life-changing process,” said Ms. Throne-Holst, 50, an independent candidate with Democratic endorsement, as she addressed nearly 100 party supporters who had gathered at Four Seasons Caterer in Southampton Village on Tuesday night.

“Please, everyone, stick with me,” she said during her acceptance speech. “I need every single one of you.”

At 11:13 p.m., Ms. Kabot called Ms. Throne-Holst on her cell phone to concede. At around 11:20 p.m., surrounded by her sons, Sebastian, Max and Nicholas, Ms. Throne-Holst unbuttoned her gray suit jacket and said she was “honored and humbled” by her victory.

Earlier Tuesday night, at Republican headquarters in Hampton Bays, Ms. Kabot, who has come under heavy fire in recent months for the town’s financial situation and a DWI arrest on Labor Day, said her “thick skin and strength of character” got her through difficult times at Town Hall.

“This door may have shut for me, but another door will open,” said Ms. Kabot, 41. “You haven’t see the last of Linda Kabot yet.”

In her closing remarks, Ms. Kabot, red-faced and watery-eyed, spoke proudly of her time as an elected official.

“We ran a good campaign, as best as we could under the circumstances,” Ms. Kabot said during her concession speech, “and please know that I really appreciate all of the support and encouragement of so many people during this year’s race and for my prior years of public service.”

Ms. Throne-Holst, who served the past two years on the Town Board, will assume her new office on January 1, 2010. It is a two-year term.

Though Ms. Kabot lost her bid for supervisor, Republicans held their ground on the Town Board. Mr. Nuzzi was the top finisher of the four Town Board candidates, as he received 6,978 votes, according to the Board of Elections. His running mate, Mr. Malone, finished with 5,847 votes to win the second open seat on the Town Board. Both of their terms are four years.

Ms. Pope, who was making her first bid for reelection, finished a distant third with 5,456 votes. Her running mate, Ms. Fleming, was making her first bid for public office and received 5,319 votes.

With fewer than 400 votes separating Mr. Malone and Ms. Pope for the second Town Board seat, Southampton Town Democratic Committee Chairman Gordon Herr said the party will consider asking for a recount. He added that Ms. Pope and Ms. Fleming were “fantastic” candidates.

“This is not the end,” Mr. Herr said. “This is the beginning.”

On Wednesday morning, Mr. Herr said in an e-mail that there will be a recanvassing of election machines to check the accuracy of the vote counts. After that is released, he said, the Southampton Town Democratic Committee will decide if a recount is warranted.

Ms. Pope, wearing a lavender sweater and black slacks, appeared upbeat on Tuesday night, only once or twice peeking at a television screen that broadcast the election results. At the end of the night, she was somber and said it was a close race.

“It looks like the voters have made their selection,” said Ms. Pope, 68, who was elected to the board in 2008 to fill the seat vacated by Ms. Kabot when she was elected supervisor. “But we have to count all the votes.”

Mr. Nuzzi, 35, who was first elected to the board in 2005, said his conservative campaign platform of reducing spending and fiscal reform resonated with voters. “I focused my campaign on those ideas,” he said.

Ms. Throne-Holst’s soon-to-be-vacant seat will be filled through a special election, which must be held within the next 60 to 90 days. Town voters on Tuesday also approved a proposition that changes the way open elected seats are filled in Southampton Town. Instead of being filled through board appointment—as has been the practice before Tuesday night—those vacant seats will be filled by special election. The proposition passed by a two-to-one margin.

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To all Southampton Town Candidates:

Congratulations, the dedication and energy each of you put into your campaigns deserves recognition. It is common knowledge that there are only 24 hours in a day, but it seems as if the candidates worked much more than that these past few months.

During the time that I ran for Town Council earlier this year, I experienced first hand the difficulty of balancing work, family and the rigors of campaigning. Only after campaigning do I fully ...more
By Bill Wright (1), East Quogue on Nov 4, 09 1:16 PM
Hey, Mister Sweetness-and-Light, I hate to rain on your saccharine parade, but aren't you the guy who wrote the sleazy letter to the Press in mid-campaign? You know, the letter calling on Anna Throne-Holst to make public her telephone records in response to the unfounded rumor that someone in the know called her right after Linda Kabot was picked up on a DWI charge? Sure you're the one, it was signed 'Bill Wright' and a very underhanded letter it was, too, starting off with a lot of insincere ...more
By fidelis (199), westhampton beach on Nov 4, 09 4:24 PM
Wow! This is pretty far over-the-top even for you, Fidelis. Do you have some personal stake in any of this?
By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Nov 5, 09 10:16 AM
No Bill ... you won't be named to the vacancy on the Town Board. Sorry.
By JimmyKBond (156), Hampton Bays on Nov 5, 09 2:56 PM
Glad you like it, FW, but don't try to sell us that tired old tactic of making the other guy the issue with your transparent question about personal stakes. The answer in any event is no, I don't have any personal stake other than a strong aversion to foul play, especially the hypocritical variety practiced by Bill Wright.
By fidelis (199), westhampton beach on Nov 5, 09 3:55 PM
To all the folks that voted for ATH-when you're taxes increase, when you have illegal immigrants taking your jobs, when the police are earning more money than you ever dreamed of, when it becomes unaffordable to live in this area anymore-make sure and thank Anna. And ask yourself-"why didn't you get out and vote on this past election day".
What a wretched shame to have a supervisor that does not understand government, but well, we have a president in the White House that doesn"t either-he watched ...more
By foxnfowl (17), Southampton on Nov 4, 09 2:01 PM
3 members liked this comment
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By rocky (79), shampton on Nov 4, 09 4:24 PM
You would have to be living in outer space to not notice that all these problems have been RAMPANT with Republicans and Kabot in charge.

Taxes? how about 5% increase each year - the most allowed by law. Thanks Linda!

Police earning too much $? totally agree - and it takes them 20 years to get there, which means most of the cops were hired while Republicans - and certainly not the supervisor-elect, were in power.

Illegal Immigrants? Yeah, they've never been here before, ...more
By littleplains (305), olde england on Nov 4, 09 5:03 PM
foxnfowl ... that which you describe in your post ... what rock have you been living under? You describe to a perfect "t" what life in Southampton has been like under Linda " take no responsibility" Kabot ... and what have you Dick Cheney Republicans done about illegal immigrants taking jobs ? Under Kabot the taxes were raised higher than anytime in the last decade ? During Kabot's time on the Town Council and as Supervisor police salaries and benefits went up 125 percent ... and for 25 years of ...more
By JimmyKBond (156), Hampton Bays on Nov 4, 09 5:32 PM
1 member liked this comment
foxnfowl thinks the economic crisis is the result of Obama and Anna Thorne-Holst, not fiscal mismanagement that occurred under Bush, Heaney and Kabot.

I'm thinking either traumatic brain injury or a neurodegenerative disease. He couldn't be THAT stupid - or could he?
By Noah Way (450), Southampton on Nov 4, 09 6:29 PM
2 members liked this comment
Foxnfowl: The problems of this Town were not created by Anna Throne-Holst, but by the very Republican party that you support. That ANY Republican was able to win a seat in this Town election surprises me. We'll be paying for the pay-to-play politics of past Republicans for years to come. My fear is that they'll just do it again, having failed to be punished by the taxpayer this year for their tricks of the past.
By Dodger (161), Southampton Village on Nov 4, 09 2:28 PM

The only problem with your attack on ATH is that Republicans will control the town board 3-1 when she becomes supervisor and maybe with the special election they may control all 4 seats on the council. So it would be impossible to put the blame on ATH for all these things you mention. If your predictions come to fruition then you would have to blame the republicans, in a republican controlled town board.
By sayitaintsojoe (100), Westhampton on Nov 4, 09 2:31 PM
fosnfowl-ever hear about gracious losers
By EmployeeSH (4), Southampton on Nov 4, 09 3:04 PM
I agree with Foxnfowl! Who do you think got your township in the mess it is in in the first place? Not the democrats, that's for sure!!!

YAY Anna Throne Holst!!!!
By gina (5), Patchogue on Nov 4, 09 4:13 PM
Gina Lewis
Living in Patchogue how would you know anything about OUR town?
I saw you comment about the animal shelter. At first I thought you were just an advocate for animals. But what really was or is your agenda? How would you even know ATH? Did someone one ask you comment about the SH Animal Shelter because it was controversial at the time? Seems very strange a blogger from Patchogue who is involved with Suffolk Unleased and also supports ATH.
By golfbuddy (180), hampton bays on Nov 4, 09 10:20 PM
"Agenda?" Not sure what you mean by that? Does having an opinion constitute an "agenda?"
No one asked me to respond to anything, I have my own opinions. attended several of your town board meetings, and I had the pleasure of meeting Ms Throne Holst, - I am also a very staunch democrat! And I am also an advocate for the animals, unpaid and a volunteer- so I am still unsure what you mean by agenda- what "agenda" would I have?
By gina (5), Patchogue on Dec 23, 09 6:57 PM
At least we still have Nuzzi. And Republicans have the board. It is far from a total loss.
By Sam (252), Westhampton Beach on Nov 4, 09 4:46 PM
Fidelis is right on target....the first comment on this article is nothing but an entre into the special election. Yes, he was the one who wrote the letter callilng for ATH to turn over her phone records...buying into the anonymous letter yellow journalism hype spewed by the SH Press.

Now, all of sudden - with the special election prop having passed and no chance that GOP appointing him as they told him to do when they shuffled the deck after the committee voted to nominate Malone at first ...more
By Ben Dover (3), Northampton on Nov 4, 09 4:53 PM
The new republican strategy - being practiced nationally and filtering down to the local level - is scorch the earth. If you can't win, make sure your opponent fails. If you destroy the political process along the way - who cares?
By Noah Way (450), Southampton on Nov 4, 09 6:33 PM
I wonder to what extent Kabot lost because of all the DWI drama?

Im disappointed Kabot lost, but at the same time I was disgusted by Kabot's poor judgement with the whole DWI thing (she should have just apologized), and in a way she got what she deserved.
By nicole (96), Hampton Bays on Nov 4, 09 5:55 PM
2 members liked this comment
Thank god the republicans kept control of the Town Board. This will keep the newly elected Town Suoervisor from going off on the usual liberal tax and spend policies.
By Walt (292), Southampton on Nov 4, 09 6:26 PM
Right, the supervisor is a dictator. There is no democratic process of voting on legislation or budgets by town board members.

Do you even know what a democracy is? We just had an ELECTION.
By Noah Way (450), Southampton on Nov 4, 09 6:31 PM
and who has led the tax and pend parade all these years in Southampton Town? The GOP, you crazy guy ...
By JimmyKBond (156), Hampton Bays on Nov 5, 09 2:43 PM
Will this be another Al Farnkin episode by the democrats. That 400 vote lead will quickly disapear and somehow Pope will be determined the winner by a democartic judge. Politics as usual!
By Walt (292), Southampton on Nov 4, 09 6:32 PM
walt, you are truly the king of the nutwings
By yearrounder (208), Southampton on Nov 4, 09 8:38 PM
1 member liked this comment
The only reason Pope made it in the last election was beacuse she was on the same lime as OBUMMER!!!
By kpjc (161), east quogue on Nov 4, 09 6:45 PM
nicole: sorry your candidate lost....there's no doubt that the dwi made a difference...but ath won 58 to 42 percent...that is a huge margin, especially in the same election where republicans kept control of the board.....I doubt the dwi factor could have erased such a deficit.....it would have most likely been closer, but with these numbers hard to say that it was the determining factor. Had this been a nailbiter...than maybe so
By Tim Tanuka (38), Southampton on Nov 4, 09 8:38 PM
I'm very happy that the republicans kept the majority on the town board, they were the better of 4 candidates. Lets not forget that they also had 3 lines to LK one. If LK had the 2nd line the outcome would have been different.
By golfbuddy (180), hampton bays on Nov 4, 09 9:49 PM
She lost. Time to move on.
By dagdavid (646), southampton on Nov 5, 09 9:27 AM
sure... thats it... people got "confused" because of all the extra lines in the ballot box. As if we're not capable of reading "Kabot" vs. "Throne".

Maybe Linda would have had more lines if she hadn't lost her own party's support by being such a divisive character.

The excuses and rationalizations never end!
By littleplains (305), olde england on Nov 5, 09 9:41 AM
WHAT "different???? "

Yeah, the ATH margin would have been 12-13%.

What will you come up with next, GB? Anna only won because she's taller and cuter than Linda?
By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Nov 5, 09 10:11 AM
16 percent is a huge margin?????????
By Sam (252), Westhampton Beach on Nov 4, 09 8:53 PM
Sammy, you know 16 percent is a huge losing margin for a sitting Republican officeholder (and an embarrassment in a town vastly Republican) ... it says, Republicans were fed up and rejected Kabot, too
By JimmyKBond (156), Hampton Bays on Nov 5, 09 2:47 PM
In Virginia, 15% was described as a landslide. Your hero Bush claimed a "mandate" with barely 1% in 2004.

By Noah Way (450), Southampton on Nov 4, 09 9:11 PM
How many of them are going to mention George Bush? I can't take it! Ya'll are worried about Town taxes, like a 10% increase will result in an additional $100 on a million dollar house...OMG, horrors. Fire all the Town workers, esp. all those single motherrs that work for the Town. But don't mention the $30k per student spent by the school adnistration leeches that take up to 70% of your property tax bill. Oh, that's right, that money is "for the children".
By kelbas (30), Southampton on Nov 4, 09 10:05 PM
Yes, that money is "for the children". Children who will need to be well educated in order to compete in the global job market. When our children do well, America does well. And don't forget the the children we educate here may end up actually living and working here. These kids our are future doctors, nurses, firefighters, cops, teachers, Senators, presidents. Would you prefer to simply get rid of the schools?
By dagdavid (646), southampton on Nov 5, 09 9:30 AM
i dont think she was suggesting that we close the schools - but it is kind of ridiculous how much $$ is spent on projects here. I believe we spend more on schools, per capita, than anywhere else in the state. The cops are massively overpaid. We're building a $7mm brand new firehouse.

It's not a Kabot or ATH thing, We just got used to having a lot of $ from all the mansions and real estate sales taxes. We can't rely on that anymore.
By littleplains (305), olde england on Nov 5, 09 9:46 AM
1 member liked this comment
well, of corse you are incorrect. The children we educate her, largely, never come back here. They can not afford to live here.
By JimmyKBond (156), Hampton Bays on Nov 5, 09 2:49 PM
yes...16 percent is a huge margin for a town supervisor race....especially when you consider that republicans had a good night and kept the board.... No, it's not Reagan-Mondale, but its large enough to make the argument that without the dwi ath would have likely still won...I don't think the 16 percent was solely due to the dwi...that's my point.
By Tim Tanuka (38), Southampton on Nov 4, 09 10:07 PM
to Kelbas, it's not the amount that we will pay in extra property tax its the principal that we the people have to pay for the former Comptroller's repeated "mistakes", what mistakes will we pay for next? I don't see why the former Comptroller isn't held accountable for her "mistakes" and ordered to pay the money to the town she might have purposely defrauded, if that turns out to be the case. Any other town would want to get to the bottom of possible financial corruption. The wiley former comptroller ...more
By heath (18), southampton on Nov 5, 09 8:31 AM
You would have to ask that question of Linda Kabot and the previous town board - they were the ones who opted not to pursue legal action against anyone. Without a public hearing or disclosure of the audit, we have no reason why.

Perhaps the new board and supervisor will look into that. Of course, the same ranters will cry sour grapes and play politics - and all of us will still be out 15-20mm dollars.
By littleplains (305), olde england on Nov 5, 09 9:49 AM
I think ATH supporters like to THINK the dwi accusation didnt have any impact on ATH"s win. It is IMPOSSIBLE that it couldnt have. Clinton's sex scandal didnt lose him popularity? Vic's dog fighting didnt lose him fans? And what about Chris Brown- didnt they stop playing his music? Or Rob Blaghoavich (sp?) Or countless politicians who had affairs on their wives who were asked to step down? I guess if it appeases ATH supporters to believe she won 100% COMPLETELY on her own credentials- ok whatever ...more
By Sam (252), Westhampton Beach on Nov 5, 09 9:52 AM
Oh, I see, thanks. Maybe they made the decision to not pursue legal action prior to the discovery that the misallocation of monies by the former comptroller was a "pattern" which makes it appear more intentional and would have raised it to a higher concern. Also isn't it costly to pursue legal action? It might cost as much to hire attys as the amount of money that needs to be realllocated properly. Well I would rather all of us property tax payers pay for the mistake then, instead of harming any ...more
By heath (18), southampton on Nov 5, 09 10:05 AM
Lawyers are expensive - but give the fact that we're out some $15mm it might be worth spending a few thousand dollars to take a look. the point is, when the entire audit and decision-making process is veiled in secrecy, we have no idea who really did what. they just keep their jobs and go about their business like it never happened.

And I believe that the decision not to pursue legal action was taken after they reviewed the audit - which makes it even more troublesome.
By littleplains (305), olde england on Nov 5, 09 11:17 AM
The decision not to pursue legal action against the outside audit company is based upon political self preservation.
If sued, the audit company will argue as a defense that: 1)We told the Board about the errors, or 2) The Board should have known about the errors based upon this set of documents or transcations.
The Board would spend a ton of money on lawyers fees only to have dirty laundry aired showing they ignored evidence of financial mismanagment. They would rather just raise our ...more
By CommonSense (71), Southampton on Nov 5, 09 1:09 PM
1 member liked this comment
You are so correct. They wanted to bury this fraudulent accounting activity as soon as they learned about it. If they could have had their way, they would have sealed the room and hidden it from the news media, too. Kabot could have helped herself by advocating full disclosure, chapter and verse, and proceeding to hold certain people accountable. Because they buried the whole thing in an auditing maze, no one will ever be held responsible. PERIOD. The losers? The taxpayers in this town over the ...more
By JimmyKBond (156), Hampton Bays on Nov 5, 09 2:55 PM
Full disclosure would have disclosed Kabot's complicity. It may still.

This is just like the federal non-investigation of war crimes and abuse of power. Until there is thorough investigation and prosecution, there is nothing to prevent this from happening all over again.
By Noah Way (450), Southampton on Nov 5, 09 11:10 PM
Of course they would expose all the negligent if not criminal practices. That's why Linda and Co. decided not to pursue it - behind closed doors and with no public discussion.
By littleplains (305), olde england on Nov 5, 09 1:22 PM
My candidate lost to Anna Throne-Holst. That being said, let's cut ATH some slack. Her public activity has been above reproach. The allegiance of the STPD PBA is troubling, but that was their initiative and she knows the reason for it.

I just hope that she shows herself to be tough as well as gracious and ingratiating. However, considering the composition of the rest of the Town Council, her scope of activity will be limited.
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Nov 5, 09 2:15 PM
Cheers, highhat!
By dagdavid (646), southampton on Nov 5, 09 7:49 PM
Despite having strong opinions, highhatsize shows himself to be one of the most consistently balanced and fair-minded commenters on this site. Let's hear it for highhatsize!

BTW, he's right on about ATH's scope being limited by the three Republican/Conservative votes on the Town Board. That's why the upcoming special election is so important as an opportunity to put a different voice in the choir.
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Nov 6, 09 10:30 AM
My support in the special election goes to Bridget Fleming-a fresh view.
By EastEnd68 (888), Westhampton on Nov 6, 09 11:13 AM
Even with Fleming there much like Anna & Sally Two / three on votes
malone will lead the way with his heel kicking attention Nans & nuz following
when the game is chess & it is the repubs board, the dems are trying to play checkers, too much of a disadvantage
By fix-it-now (216), sag harbor on Nov 6, 09 2:31 PM
The more things change the more they stay the same give it a year and lets see what everybody says then.
By Local dad (51), North Sea on Nov 6, 09 5:00 PM