In their early competition for the Democratic nomination to challenge Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) next year, Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst and Suffolk Planning Commission chairman David Calone are vying over financing, endorsements and organization support.
Now Barry McCoy, a Stony Brook University physicist, member of the state Democratic Committee and longtime party activist, is weighing in. Backing Calone, he emailed Town of Brookhaven party committee members underscoring Throne-Holst's membership in the Independence Party. Throne-Holst moved to change her registration to Democratic, but this would take effect after Election Day.
"I am dismayed that we are being asked to support a member of the Independence Party instead of a member of the Democratic Party," McCoy wrote. He called it "all too reminiscent" of 2013, when Democrat Lori Baldassare was pressured by party leaders out of the town clerk race, enabling Donna Lent, the GOP candidate, to succeed the retiring Patricia Eddington.
As noted then, Lent was a close ally of Frank MacKay, the state and Suffolk Independence chairman -- and Democrats didn't want to endanger the minor party's cross-endorsements in tight Suffolk legislative races.