November 13, 2013

Election Day: Winners And Losers

Winner: Anna Throne-Holst: The Southampton Town Supe not only thrashed her archrival Linda Kabot handily, she gained control of the town board and became the poster girl for the fledging Independence Party. And the Ice Maiden never broke a sweat despite six grueling weeks of what turned into a nasty campaign.

Loser: The Southampton Conservative Party: Talk about shooting yourself in the foot. First, the party – reportedly at the urging of Ed Walsh Jr., the Suffolk County Chairman, flirted with Throne-Holst, who is anything but a Conservative. Then town party boss Jim Malone got out maneuvered not once but twice by Kabot, who ended up as the party's nominee despite the fact Walsh and Malone conspired to keep her off the ticket. Then Malone talked Phil Keith, a good man, into staging a write-in against Kabot, to no avail. Then the party alleged fraud against Kabot, and that went nowhere. Then Keith endorsed Throne-Holst out of spite.

All the nonsense cost Kabot a couple hundred votes, not enough to matter, and sullied the reputation of Keith forever. Meanwhile, not only has the Independence Party usurped the Conservatives, but the Working Families Party is nipping at its heels.

Malone was a disaster as a town board member, working full time on another job though he promised he would quit it if elected. Once, Malone was spotted in East Hampton Justice Court defending a relative of Walsh during an important town board meeting – so he was playing hooky from both his jobs. As one town board member said privately, the only time Malone showed up at town hall was when there was a photo op. Southampton taxpayers deserved better, and so do Southampton conservatives. Kabot will be fine but Malone's credibility is shot and he and Walsh should step down as party bosses – they betrayed those they were supposed to serve.

Winner: Springs. The conventional wisdom was either Fred Overton or Kathee Burke-Gonzalez would join Job Potter on the 2014 East Hampton Town Board. Instead, both Springs residents won. Springs has now surpassed Montauk as the most important voting block in town, and future candidates will have to make sure the voters are heard – in this case, code enforcement was the hot button. Hopefully, the town board and newly elected Supervisor Larry Cantwell heard it loud and clear – it's time to clean up Springs once and for all.

Loser: Riverhead Town Democratic Party: We tried for several weeks to get a hold of the Supervisor candidate, Angela DeVito. The email on the party site didn't work. The answering machine cut off in the middle of the message. The party chairman either didn't return our calls or called from a cellphone that didn't work well. No, we weren't trying to sell her ads – we were offering to do a profile, with a photo and an essay written by the candidate explaining why she was the best choice for the job. DeVito, predictably, got trounced by the incumbent, Sean Walter. We never did hear from her.

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