Hardy Plumbing
April 13, 2011

Fleming Wants To Stay



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It wasn't easy for Councilwoman Bridget Fleming to win a seat on the Southampton Town Board. She ran unsuccessfully in 2009, then continued to run after Anna Throne-Holst won her bid for supervisor. With Throne-Holst vacating her seat on the town board, a special election was held in March of 2010. Fleming, a Democrat, won that time.

This evening, she's launching her re-election campaign, with Throne-Holst, a member of the Independence Party, the anticipated standard bearer. Fleming said Friday that town party officials were still screening potential running mates.

Two seats on the town board are up for grabs this year, in addition to the supervisor's spot. Councilwoman Nancy Graboski is term-limited and while her name's been mentioned as the potential Republican challenger for Throne-Holst's seat, she's remained reticent about a run. So have other Republican town board members Chris Nuzzi and Jim Malone, each of whom has been mentioned as potential supervisor candidates, too.

A resident of Southampton Town since 2001, Fleming graduated law school in 1991. She ran the Manhattan district attorney's welfare fraud unit prior to moving east full time. Fleming has a law practice specializing in family and criminal law located in Sag Harbor.

A blurb on the Southampton Town Democrat website heralding an event during which Fleming will announce her re-election run notes "after just one year on the Town Board, Bridget remains focused fiscal responsibility, environmental sustainability and economic development." Noting the GOP has yet to reveal its candidates, Fleming said Monday she intends to "stick to what's important – fiscal controls, environmental stewardship and economic opportunities" on the campaign trail.

Given the political landscape, Fleming admitted, "It's easy to get distracted in town hall." Serving in the minority has been "enormously challenging," she said, "But my meat and potatoes initiatives have come through because they just make sense."

Fleming's accomplishments include establishing a medical benefit program for emergency responders, persuading LIPA to remove unsightly, broken telephone poles, and spearheading the creation of a farm fresh produce market in Flanders.

"I'm not shy about expressing an opinion," Fleming said. "Even if it's not shared by everybody on the board, I know it's shared by people in community. That gives me strength. It gives me a well to draw from." The councilwoman feels the board needs someone who will speak out in opposition to what she calls a "heavy handed governing style" by the majority. "Even if I don't have the votes," she said, "I still keep people honest."

"I know from the phone calls I get," Fleming concluded, "I'm serving a purpose up there."

Fleming's re-election launch takes place today at 6:30 PM at Fleming campaign headquarters on Job's Lane in Southampton.

kmerrill@indyeastend.com

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