DAN'S PAPERS, June 12, 2009 Page 18 www.danshamptons.com
By T.J. Clemente The John Spata Democratic Club of Southampton formally presented its slate of united candidates at a breakfast last Saturday morning at the Southampton Inn. The theme was unity, unity, unity, with Congressman Tim Bishop, and New York State Assemblyman Fred Thiele, along with Assemblyman Mark Alessi all on hand to endorse the ticket. It was in fact a mighty show of force and unity. Grania Brolin, the Chairman of the Democratic Club of Southampton, and Gordon Herr the Chairman of the Democratic Party of Southampton, were beaming with pride as the candidates worked the floor thanking friends and asking for support in getting their petition
signatures. Each candidate was given 10 minutes to speak, but it was Councilwoman Anna Throne-Holst, the candidate for Supervisor, who laid down the gauntlet saying in effect, “It is our time.” She warned of nasty dirty politics coming from the opponents and said, basically, Democrats are above that kind of behavior, but she won’t let it stand either. As an example, she cited a most recent attempt by the Republican controlled Board to make the Town Highway Superintendent an appointed position now that Independent and Democratic candidate Alex Gregor seems like a shoe in. Councilwoman Sally Pope again underscored her role in having a state auditor come in to look at the mess the Republicans created under one
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SH Dems’ Strategy: Time to Clean Out the Barn
party rule for the last 20 years. The other candidate for Council, Bridget Fleming, made it clear that she was ready, willing, and able to rise to the task of doing whatever it takes to get votes. Both sitting Southampton Town justices Barbara Wilson and Deborah Kooperstein spoke about the pleasure of serving. Judge Kooperstein discussed the program she helped create to rehabilitate drug offenders. Both candidates for Southampton Town Trustee, Bill Pell and Chris Garvey, spoke of their love of the water, nature and fishing. Alex Gregor explained why Town Highway Superintendent is the second most important job after the Supervisor, due to the huge responsibilities of maintaining both quality and safety of the roads. Brolin mentioned how, over the last 10 years in Southampton, the registration of Democratic voters has gone from a ratio of two Republicans to one Democrat, to being almost even, due to the phenomenal work the party has done registering new voters in the last few years. The Obama factor is not to be ignored either, as Bridget Fleming noted from her work locally for President Obama in the last election. After breakfast, the whole assembly took the six-minute walk to Agawam Park where, under a big blue sky and with a backdrop of American flags (and amid brown ATH signs and buttons, for Anna Throne-Holst), the crowd reassembled. To the sound of bagpipes, the crowd gathered as Mark Alessi, Tim Bishop and Fred Thiele endorsed Anna Throne-Holst for Supervisor formally and spoke highly of her ticket. Unity, opportunity, duty, and lastly, trust were the words everyone was using. An older woman walking her dog asked me before the rally started what was going on. When told, she said, matter of factly, “It’s time to clean out the barn.” And thus with looming millions of dollars in deficits facing the Town of Southampton, along with a national, if not international, economic downturn, the local political season of 2009 is officially underway. All that remains to be seen is if Republican Supervisor Linda Kabot will oppose her party’s choice of Conservative Jim Malone and stay in the race, either by challenging Malone in a forced primary or as a candidate in the general election. The smart money is on Kabot running all the way and maybe even winning. But last Saturday, there was clearly serious momentum growing around Anna Throne-Holst becoming the next Southampton Town Supervisor.
Published on Jun 12, 2009
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