Southampton Town Democratic Committee Chairman Gordon Herr confirmed this week that Sag Harbor-based lawyer Bridget Fleming will likely be picked as the democratic candidate in an upcoming special election to fill a vacant seat on the town board. The committee will host an unofficial nominating convention this Thursday, January 7, at an event at the Southampton Inn at 7 p.m. Democratic Committee Chairman Gordon Herr said the screening committee interviewed four nominees for the candidacy in December, though he declined to reveal the names of the nominees. Herr added the screening committee unanimously voted on the final candidate.
Because former councilwoman Anna Throne-Holst was elected town supervisor in November 2009 before her council term expired, her council seat on the town board will remain vacant until the special election. According to acting town attorney Kathleen Murray, the election must be held 60 to 90 days after the position becomes vacant. The council position was empty as of January 1, 2010.
On Wednesday, January 6, Murray said the special election is tentatively scheduled for March 9. She added that a resolution setting this date for election will appear on the town board’s agenda this Friday, January 8, during the organizational meeting. The vote was coordinated with the Suffolk County Board of Elections to coincide with a special election in Brookhaven Town.
The Southampton Town Republican Committee was slated to announce who would run on behalf of the party in the election at a committee meeting on Wednesday, January 6. According to a source with the republican committee, the nominating meeting was adjourned and the vote postponed. Party leaders in both the republican and democratic camps learned from the Suffolk County Board of Elections this week that they cannot official select a candidate before a date for the election has been confirmed. Herr, however, pointed out that a committee is still allowed to name their pick.
“We are still having a meeting [on Thursday]. We are going to present our selection but we won’t be able to officially nominate or vote on a candidate. It is purely technical,” noted Herr.
The nominees interviewed by the Republican Committee included Dr. Tod Granger of Sag Harbor. Dr. Granger established a dentistry practice in Noyac after retiring from 24 years of military service as a Lieutenant Colonel. He was born in Southampton Hospital, raised in Sag Harbor and was a member of the Sag Harbor Village Board of Trustees for five years — from 1988 through 1992. The other nominees were Scott Horowitz of East Qougue, William Hughes of Hampton Bays and Rebecca Molinaro of Remsenburg.
The committee screened the candidates in December at the Villa Tuscano Restuarant in Hampton Bays. At the screening event, former Southampton Town supervisor Linda Kabot thanked the committee for its support, especially in her 2009 bid for re-election. She informed the crowd that she wouldn’t consider running in the special election. Former councilman Dan Russo, who lost his bid for reelection in 2008, was also at the screening event. He told the crowd that he had toyed with the idea of running for the council again but decided against it, said a press release penned by Republican Committee Chairman Ernie Wruck.