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Democrat Calone gains South Fork endorsements for Congress

David Calone is challenging Anna Throne-Holst in the

David Calone is challenging Anna Throne-Holst in the Democratic primary for the chance to run against Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) in the First Congressional District. This photo is from Nov. 12, 2015. Credit: Barry Sloan

A half dozen South Fork elected officials, including East Hampton Supervisor Larry Cantwell and Suffolk Legis. Bridget Fleming, have endorsed David Calone over former Southampton Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst in their expected Democratic primary battle in the First Congressional District.

Calone not only picked up the support of Fleming -- who until last month was a member of the Southampton Town board along with Throne-Holst -- but also that of new Southampton Town board member John Bouvier.

In East Hampton he was backed by three town board members in addition to Cantwell -- Peter Van Scoyoc, Sylvia Overby and Kathee Burke-Gonzalez.

Several party sources said Fleming has clashed with Throne-Holst behind the scenes and blames the former Independence Party member for blocking her from getting the minor party’s cross-endorsement several years ago.

Throne-Holst declined to comment on Calone’s latest endorsements, saying, “I’m very proud of the endorsements I’ve gotten. I’m moving full-steam ahead and enjoying campaigning full-time.”

She is endorsed by her successor Jay Schneiderman, by former State Democratic chairwoman and East Hampton Supervisor Judith Hope, and by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a town summer resident.

Lillian Clayman, new Brookhaven Democratic chair who backs Calone, called the endorsements “very significant” in an area expected to be a Throne-Holst stronghold. She added Calone’s strengths are his credentials as a former federal prosecutor, county planning commission chair and career venture capitalist. “He’s a lifelong Democrat with superior skills and can beat Lee Zeldin,” the Republican incumbent, she said.

Gordon Herr, Southampton Democratic chair, countered that Throne-Holst has done a “tremendous amount for the East End” and “always has the values and principles of a true Democrat.”

“Pointing fingers is a dangerous position to take,” Herr said.

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