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Long IslandColumnistsRick Brand

Calone to relinquish Independence line for general election

David Calone is shown speaking at St. Michaels

David Calone is shown speaking at St. Michaels Lutheran Church in Amagansett in this photo taken on Feb. 3, 2016. Photo Credit: Gordon M. Grant

David Calone, who lost the Democratic congressional primary to former Southampton Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst, said he will relinquish the ballot line of the Independence Party for the general election.

Calone, who has endorsed Throne-Holst, said he will encourage Independence Party officials to back the primary victor, but said the final decision on the endorsement will be theirs. “When they offered me the line, the understanding was that I would agree to get off the line if I did not win the primary, Calone said. “My intention is to do what I would say I would do.”

What makes the line significant is that the Independence line in the last two elections has attracted about 4,900 votes. The normal exit strategy for a lawyer such as Calone would be for the minor party to nominate him in September as a candidate for state Supreme Court somewhere in the state, which is the only legal way for him to give up the congressional ballot line.

Both Jesse Garcia, Brookhaven Republican chairman, and Rich Schaffer, Suffolk Democratic chairman, expressed optimism that the minor party might back their respective candidates. Frank MacKay, state and Suffolk Independence Party chairman, could not be reached for comment.

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