Gurney's Inn
June 13, 2007

In Southampton: Kabot to Wage Primary?

The rumor mill is working overtime in Southampton Town this week.

And the word on the street is that not one, but two, Southampton Town Councilwomen are considering waging a primary. This week, whispers were swirling that Councilwoman Linda Kabot is considering challenging Skip Heaney for the supervisor's seat in the upcoming November race.

Ever since the stunning announcement recently that the Southampton Town Republican Committee had dropped Southampton Town Councilwoman Nancy Graboski from their slate for the upcoming election, rumors have abounded that she may still vie for the seat.

Although Graboski said she is heartened by the outpouring of support she's received, and that she is considering the idea that she could "move in that direction," as of Monday, as this publication went to press, Graboski said she still hadn't made a decision.

Kabot acknowledged that there has definitely been a "whispering campaign" regarding whether or not she may choose to enter the political fray this year.

"Rumors are running amok," she said.

Kabot addressed those rumors on Monday, saying that she is "not announcing any kind of primary challenge."

She said that as of now she is serving as a councilwoman and to wage a primary would take a tremendous amount of time and effort during the upcoming summer months.

The councilwoman reminded that she is serving a four-year term that ends on December 31, 2009, at which point she may consider running for another office.

She added, "In this business, you have to be ready for anything. I can't tell you that things won't change on a dime."

With yesterday being the first day for designating petitions to be signed, those waging a primary have from July 16-19 to file the petitions, which need 500 valid signatures. Kabot assured that if Graboski does announce her decision to move forward with a primary, "I am definitely going to be carrying her petitions."

Many, she said, have asked Kabot if she would have a petition of her own.

Kabot said she is unsure of what set ablaze the firestorm of rumors that she was seeking the supervisor's seat. She believes speculation was sparked after a fundraiser she held last year. The party, she said, was held to help raise funds to offset the debt of about $100,000 incurred during her last campaign in 2005, including ads to help elect fellow Councilman Chris Nuzzi, that left her "in the red." Any additional funds, she said, could be used in 2009, should she decide to seek another position at that time.

Kabot also believes it's possible that rumors were generated by supporters of Heaney, who, she suggested, might see her "as a threat."

When contacted for a response, Heaney erupted into peals of laughter. The supervisor reminded that after addressing almost 100 individuals, screening and asking for support in his final bid to hold the position of town supervisor, he received a standing ovation. "I was unanimously supported in my bid to be designated," he said.

Heaney also said he believed Kabot was "not being truthful." He said Kabot had been trying to summon support for a run for at least five months. "I think she had a tremendous amount of support in her mind."

Kabot said that she wants her constituency to remember that she holds office until 2009 and they can "count on Kabot to do the right thing" and work for their best interests.

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