Democratic congressional candidates David Calone and Anna Throne-Holst exchanged sharp attacks over environmental records and who was best positioned to beat Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin at a Thursday night debate in Hampton Bays sponsored by the League of Women Voters of the Hamptons.
Calone, a venture capitalist, touted his endorsements by environmental groups and South Fork Democrats.
“They know your record, when it comes to the environment, is sketchy,” Calone said to Throne-Holst, pointing to her push as Southampton supervisor for what he called “overdevelopment” and a sand mine.
Throne-Holst said “You can’t beat my record on the environment,” touting a clean water research center’s opening, solar initiatives and a ban on plastic bags during her tenure as Southampton supervisor.
She attacked Calone for being appointed to the Long Island Power Authority by former Speaker Sheldon Silver, when LIPA raised rates and pushed forward fossil fuel power plants.
She said Zeldin would “make mincemeat” out of Calone’s record as a LIPA trustee.
Calone responded by saying, “If you have such a great record, why are all the Democrats who worked with you endorsing me?”
Throne-Holst, who was an Independence Party member until she registered as a Democrat in May 2015, said, “You know who endorsed me? The people of Southampton endorsed me, four times” when they elected her as a councilwoman and then as a supervisor.
Throne-Holst touted her own endorsements by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and former Rep. Tim Bishop (D-Southampton) and pointed to her record as Southampton supervisor, where she said she cut inefficient government and the town achieved a AAA bond rating.
Calone said he had experience as a venture capitalist creating private sector jobs and helping build affordable housing and working on solar regulations as chairman of the Suffolk County planning commission. He also pointed to his experience as a former federal prosecutor and the fact he has the Independence Party nomination.
Throne-Holst said it was a “big distinction” that Calone “put hundreds of thousands of dollars in his campaign.”
Calone responded, “I don’t have Hamptons developers holding fundraisers for me. I don’t have Wall Street executives holding fundraisers for me.” Throne-Holst said she had 4,500 contributors.
The Democratic primary is June 28. The congressional district covers the eastern part of Suffolk County.