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Conservatives seek to thwart Kabot’s Southampton supervisor bid
In a bid to block former GOP Supervisor Linda Kabot from getting the Conservative Party line for town supervisor, the town’s Conservative Party has endorsed a weekly newspaper’s columnist as its write-in candidate in Tuesday’s election.
Phil Keith, a retired Navy officer, former business executive and a member of the town’s planning commission, said he was asked by Southampton Councilman Jim Malone, a party leader, to consider running for the slot.
“First and foremost, I want to try to help the Conservative Party get back control of their line for the election,” Keith said.
Kabot had sought the line for the general election despite clashing with the party’s leadership. She successfully challenged signatures of a Conservative Party member, Howard Heckman III, from being on the ballot. But her signatures were also invalidated. Instead, on Tuesday, the town’s 712 registered Conservative Party members will have to write in their choice to appear on November’s ballot.
Kabot, a Republican, is actively campaigning for the line, which would help her in the November election against incumbent Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst, an Independence Party member who also has the Democratic Party’s line.
Keith is a registered Republican, though he said he’s ideologically in line with the Conservative Party. He writes a column for the Southampton Press. He acknowledged that if he is successful in getting the nomination, he will face an uphill battle in November’s election. But he promised, “I will not be a straw man.”
Kabot praised Keith as a “great guy.” But, she said, with less than 60 days left until the general election, she has the best chance of defeating the incumbent. “A vote for anyone other than Linda Kabot on the Conservative Primary ballot is a vote for Anna Throne-Holst,” she said in a statement.