The Southampton Conservative Party will have a contested write-in primary for supervisor in September, the Suffolk County Board of Elections has ruled.
Former supervisor Linda Kabot, a Republican, will campaign actively for the line in her November challenge to incumbent Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst. But Conservative Party leadership said it will put up an alternative to block her.
Kabot is waging her third fight against Throne-Holst, an Independence Party member who's also been endorsed by the Democratic Party. She has never been endorsed by the Conservative Party in her bids, party chairman Edward Walsh said.
The Board of Elections voted Aug. 8 to allow the Conservative Party primary for the Southampton race, rejecting objections filed by Southampton Councilman Jim Malone, a Southampton Conservative Party leader.
But the commissioners also rejected petitions for Kabot to have her name on the Conservative Party ballot because she did not have authorization from party leadership. They rejected signatures for Conservative Party member Howard H. Heckman III because he and others had already signed Kabot's petition.
Kabot said she will campaign actively for write-in votes to secure the Conservative Party line.
"I share the core values of Republican and conservative voters about smaller, more efficient government," Kabot said in an interview last week. She said her two years as supervisor set the town on a sound financial path.
Walsh countered that taxes and spending increased during Kabot's time on the town board and when she was supervisor.
"Conservatives out there know that she is not fiscally responsible enough to be supervisor and she can't be trusted to do anything but tax and spend," Walsh said Monday.
Kabot and Throne-Holst screened for the Conservative Party endorsement, but the party made no endorsement. Walsh said Throne-Holst was too liberal on social issues.
Kabot, in a statement, blamed her lack of endorsement on "up-island political deal-making."
Walsh said, "she can talk about bogeymen or up-west politics. But when she was at the helm, she increased taxes and spending."
Walsh said the Conservative Party is close to finalizing its candidate of choice for the write-in campaign. "Conservative Party voters will have another choice," he said.