Candidates are coming out of the woodwork for this fall’s elections throughout the East End, but nowhere is the political jockeying more pronounced than in Southampton Town, where this week Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst announced that she is planning to run for Congress next year against freshman Republican Congressman Lee Zeldin and will not seek re-election as supervisor this year.
Hot on the heels of Ms. Throne-Holst’s announcement, County Legislator Jay Schneiderman announced Friday evening that he will seek her seat as town supervisor on the Democratic, Independence and Working Families party lines this fall. Mr. Schneiderman has reached the end of his term limit as county legislator.
Meanwhile, Southampton Councilwoman Bridget Fleming, the sole registered Democrat on the Southampton board, announced that she plans to seek Mr. Schneiderman’s seat in the county legislature. She was officially selected by county Democrats May 20. She is expected to face off against Republican Amos Goodman of Springs, who announced his candidacy in February.
Ms. Throne-Holst, a registered member of the Independence Party, told reporters this week that she plans to become a registered Democrat before running for Congress, and will spend the remainder of this year working to finish out her term in Southampton.
Ms. Throne-Holst, who lives in Sag Harbor, joined the Southampton Town Board in 2008 and began serving as supervisor in 2010.
Mr. Schneiderman, a former East Hampton Town Supervisor, is well-known by voters as a former Montauk resident, but he said in announcing his candidacy that he began living in Southampton Town, where his children attend school, nine years ago.
He said he began renting a house in Southampton Village nine years ago, and purchased a house on David White’s Lane in 2010, where he has lived part-time. He said he’s been renting a house in Hampton Bays while building a new house on his Southampton property, which will become his primary residence when it is complete.
“From the monthly flag raising ceremonies for local veterans at the Hampton Bays Elementary School to the holiday lighting of the Big Duck in Flanders, I have been closely involved with the various hamlets and villages that comprise the Town of Southampton,” said Mr. Schneiderman in announcing his candidacy. “Through the years I also worked to address critical community issues like adding an extra lane to relieve traffic congestion on County Road 39 and ridding the community of two trailers containing homeless sex offenders…. I stood with local residents in Westhampton, fighting to prevent the closure of the Air National Guard base and helped to return Sag Harbor’s Long Wharf to community ownership.”
Ms. Fleming, who lives in Noyac, is a former New York city assistant district attorney who has served on the Southampton board since 2010. She has devoted her time on the board to issues ranging from sustainability to affirmative action.
East Hampton Races Set
East Hampton’s slates for this November’s elections were also finalized this week.
Town Democrats will be backing incumbent Supervisor Larry Cantwell and board members Peter Van Scoyoc and Sylvia Overby.
Town Republicans announced this week that they plan to back their party chairman, Tom Knobel, a former councilman and trustee who works for the Suffolk County Board of Elections, for town supervisor.
They also plan to back retired banker Leonard Czajka and Montauk real estate agent Nancy Keeshan for the two open town council seats.
Southold GOP Picks Slate
The Southold Republican Party announced Thursday that they will back incumbent Town Supervisor Scott Russell and incumbent council members Bill Ruland and Jill Doherty for town board this fall. Former Councilman Chris Talbot had also screened for the supervisor post, but he said this week he will not wage a primary against Mr. Russell.