In a one-vote squeaker that hinged on whether Conservative Party voters meant "Linda" when they wrote "Lynda" and "Kabot" when they wrote "Cabot," former Supervisor Linda Kabot has won the Conservative Party line in her bid for Southampton supervisor.
The Suffolk County Board of Elections certified the primary vote Tuesday, giving Kabot a 73-72 win over Phil Keith, a newspaper columnist tapped by the Conservative Party leadership just days before the election.
Kabot, a Republican, will now carry two lines against incumbent Anna Throne-Holst, an Independence Party member endorsed by the Democratic Party, in November's election.
Kabot and Throne-Holst will face off for the third time in what is expected to be a close race. The Conservative Party line could mean hundreds of votes in the election.
"I'm excited to have the support of the rank-and-file Conservative voters," Kabot said Tuesday. "This does increase my chances against an incumbent."
She added that Southampton Conservative Party leader Jim Malone had challenged six write-in votes that used variations of her name.
"I'm proud of the effort and energy Mr. Keith put into this in such a short period of time," Malone said. "I'm proud that so many Conservatives participated and the results are what the results are."
He added that he isn't endorsing anyone at this time.
Kabot originally challenged eight petitions for Keith, but withdrew the objections. Kabot said Democratic Commissioner Anita Katz ruled in favor of six ballots cast for her two days after the re-canvass. Republican Commissioner Wayne Rogers ruled in favor of validating those votes for Kabot Tuesday.