November 14, 2007
Kabot, Throne-Holst Cling To Lead
Republican Linda Kabot held stubbornly to a 70 vote lead in the race for the Southampton Town Supervisor as The Independent went to press yesterday, with Democratic challenger Jim Henry clinging to hopes of an upset victory.
With about 700 absentee ballots still to be opened Kabot had 4134 votes compared to 4064 for Henry. The incumbent, Supervisor Skip Heaney, running on the Conservative Party line after being ousted by Kabot in the Republican primary, appeared out of the running with 3693 votes.
In the race for two town council seats, incumbent Republican Nancy Graboski has probably nailed one down with 5427 votes, plus whatever she tallies from the uncounted ballots. However, the fate of Democratic neophyte Anna Throne-Holst, with 5245 votes, and her Republican opponent Daniel Russo, also a first time candidate, remained too close to call. Russo had 5196 votes going into the recount.
Heaney's fall from grace is remarkable. In four years spanning three elections he went from 8186 votes in 2003, to 7076 the next election and finally down to about 3700 this time around.
Henry, who at one point during Election Night forged ahead, leading in the polls, called the election "a victory for the people" and claimed the results were a mandate for change.
Despite all of Henry's bluster, however, he fared only slightly better in 2007 than Gary Schwartz (3640 votes) did in 2005, or for that matter, Hank DeCillia in 2003, and neither of those gentlemen sustained active campaigns. DeCillia withdrew from the race months before Election Day and garnered nearly as many votes on the Democratic line (3652) as Henry did in 2007 (3782 plus absentee ballots). If he did prevail, Henry would become the first Democrat in two decades to win the town supervisor's seat.
Unofficially, Kabot said yesterday morning the preliminary recount was "routine" and the numbers stood at Kabot 4225, Henry 4160 and Heaney 3767. The town board race had Graboski in the lead with 5696 votes, Throne-Holst at 5399 votes and Russo trailing with 5281 votes. There were reportedly still 711 absentee ballots to be counted.