The Brookhaven Democratic executive committee on Monday night overwhelmingly endorsed hometown candidate David Calone in his bid for Congress against Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst next year.
The executive committee voted 10 in favor of making an early endorsement with two abstaining. indicating they back an endorsement but wanted to wait to take action until after this year's Election Day. Three other executive committee members were were not present, but Calone backers say they signed statements supporting the endorsement.
Anthony Parlatore, town Democratic chair who personally endorsed Calone earlier, touted his background as a federal prosecutor, a venture capitalist and current chairman of the Suffolk Planning Commission. "He's spent his life working for New Yorkers, not running for office," he said.
The resolution for the early endorsement was made by state committee member Barry McCoy, who noted Calone, unlike Throne-Holst has always been a Democrat. Throne-Holst, an Independence Party member, has re-registered as a Democrat, but the change does not take effect until after Election Day.
The vote came after a presentation by Calone's political director Lillian Clayman of Port Jefferson about steps the Calone campaign has already taken.
What makes the Brookhaven executive committee important is that the town makes up about 60 percent of the first congressional district and the five East End towns make up the remaining 40 percent. But only 250 of the Brookhaven's 600 committee positions are currently filled.
While critics assail Throne-Holst for getting backing from out-of-district officials like Rep. Steve Israel (D-Huntington) and former congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy, she also has support from East End officials including Assemb. Fred Thiele (I-Sag Harbor), Legis. Jay Schneiderman (I-Montauk) and former East Hampton Town Supervisor and state Democratic chair Judith Hope, along with a half dozen other East End town officials.
Rob Battaglia, Throne-Holst's campaign manager, said he is surprised the town executive committee made its decision without giving Throne-Holst "a chance to chat with them."