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Sep 8, 2010 11:00 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Some already have eyes on November 2011 races in Southampton Town

Sep 8, 2010 11:00 AM

Although the November 2011 general election is more than a year away, some in the Southampton Town political circle have already gotten the ball rolling on their campaigns.

Meanwhile, some incumbents see the election on the horizon but are not yet prepared to make a public decision about whether or not they will run.

There are no Southampton Town races this fall. Two seats on the Southampton Town Board will be up for grabs in 2011, as will the supervisor post. Councilwoman Nancy Graboski is required to step down due to term limits—Town Board members cannot hold seats for more than two terms, or eight years—and Councilwoman Bridget Fleming’s term will be up. In addition, Tax Receiver Theresa A. Kiernan, the five Southampton Town Trustees and Southampton Town Justice Edward Burke will all face reelection in 2011.

Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst’s campaign committee has already mailed letters to residents soliciting donations for her 2011 reelection bid.

Flanders Riverside Northampton Community Association President Brad Bender recently announced he is throwing his hat in the ring for one of the two available Town Board seats.

Ms. Graboski and Ms. Fleming both said November 2011 was far from their minds.

Though she reached the term limit for being a councilwoman, Ms. Graboski has the option of running against Ms. Throne-Holst for town supervisor. While she said she hasn’t ruled it out, Ms. Graboski said she remains focused on her present term in office.

“I haven’t discussed it with my family,” she said. “I haven’t thought about it at all. It seems so far away at this point—it is far away at this point.”

Ms. Fleming said she has not ruled out running for another term but will wait to make a decision until after November of this year. She joined the Town Board in March after winning a special election to fill the seat Ms. Throne-Holst vacated when she was sworn in as supervisor.

“I’m thoroughly enjoying my role as a town councilperson, and I’m certainly not ruling out by any stretch the possibility of running again,” Ms. Malone said. “At this point, I haven’t given it much thought, because it’s still premature.”

In her letter to town residents, seeking donations to her reelection campaign in 2011, Ms. Throne-Holst outlines some of her initiatives throughout her first eight months as supervisor, touting her success in negotiating a contract with the Southampton Town Patrolman’s Benevolent Association and the Civil Service Employees Association, as well fiscal and budgetary accomplishments.

She said this week she does not believe she has started her campaign too early, noting that those around her had advised her to get started even earlier than she has. “I actually felt that I should have got going some time ago,” she said.

According to Ms. Throne-Holst’s latest campaign finance statements, a periodic filing in July, her committee holds a balance of $922.80. The next filing is due on January 18, and it will represent expenditures and contributions from July 11 to January 14, according to John Conklin, a representative for the State Board of Elections.

Ms. Throne-Holst said she has not heard of anyone vying for her seat, although she “would be surprised if there wasn’t one.” She said Southampton Village Mayor Mark Epley was thought to be eyeing the seat, although she said Mr. Epley personally called her to dispel that rumor.

Ms. Throne-Holst and State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. will host a joint fundraiser at the Channing Daughters Winery in Bridgehampton on October 7.

Mr. Bender, 49, will officially kick off his campaign at a fundraiser on Wednesday, September 15, which will take place at 230 Elm Street in Southampton Village at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $150 per individual and can be ordered by calling (631) 678-7703.

The Committee To Elect Brad Bender filed a no activity statement for the July periodic filing, meaning there were no transactions to report for that period. But Mr. Bender said since then, he has raised somewhere between $5,000 and $6,000.

Mr. Bender said he started his campaign early to get acquainted with both sides of town.

“Everybody knows me in Flanders and Riverside and Northampton, and I lived a long time in Hampton Bays, and I lived a few years in East Quogue, so I’ve always been in this area just west of the canal since about 1986,” he said. “But no one knows me on the other side … Truly, I feel if I’m to be an effective legislator, it would be my job to learn the concerns of the residents of the whole town.”

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With a couple of big PDD applications still under consideration, my vote for supervisor will be determined solely on whether Ms. Holst sides with voters or developer/donors.
By progressnow (556), sag harbor on Sep 17, 10 10:33 AM
Should be interesting to see where her loyalties will lie. My vote, too, will hinge on that point. She's uncomfortably cosy with more than a few developer/donors across the township.
By goldenrod (505), southampton on Sep 17, 10 11:48 AM