Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst is winning the fundraising race for the fall election, having collected nearly double what her challenger, former Republican Town Supervisor Linda Kabot, has raised thus far, according to campaign finance reports filed by the candidates in July.
Republican Town Council candidate Stan Glinka has also built a sizable war chest, far outpacing his GOP running mate, Jeff Mansfield, and their Democratic-Independence challengers, Frank Zappone and Brad Bender, though none of the three had held a major fundraiser by the time of the campaign finance filings.
Ms. Throne-Holst, an Independence Party member seeking her third term in the town’s top post, had raised some $60,000 as of last week, about $10,000 more than is reflected in the report filed on July 13. She started the campaign with about $13,500 in her war chest, leftovers from the 2011 race, according to a report filed in January, and had raised an additional $19,500 by the time Ms. Kabot was even nominated to run against her.
The supervisor said she expects to raise as much as $100,000 by the time of the election, though she doesn’t expect to spend all of that money in the race.
“It’s going pretty swell,” Ms. Throne-Holst said. “Money is coming in from a variety of constituents, in different amounts. My goal is $100,000, but, hopefully, I won’t have to spend it all.”
Ms. Kabot said she has raised about $32,000 for the fall election. Her July finance report, filed with the New York State Board of Elections, showed $19,973 in contributions, and Ms. Kabot said she’s raised about $12,000 at fundraisers since then.
The Quogue resident said that despite a lackluster turnout at her first major fundraiser, which coincided with one of June’s rainstorms that flooded roadways and prevented some supporters from getting to Oakland’s Restaurant on Dune Road in Hampton Bays, she plans to hold just one more fundraiser in October so as not to interfere with the fundraising efforts of Mr. Glinka and Mr. Mansfield.
Mr. Glinka, a banker with Bridgehampton National Bank and president of the Hampton Bays Chamber of Commerce, has relied largely on small fundraising parties and private appeals, and had managed to compile more than $32,000 in his campaign coffers by the middle of July.
Mr. Mansfield’s July filing showed he had raised about $20,500, though $6,500 of that was his own money and another $6,200 was given to the campaign fund by immediate family members. The bulk of the remainder came from four donations, two of $1,500 from New York City residents Joanna Pashby and Robert Cox, and two that reached the maximum of $1,902, donated by Inese Broglia and Karol Koon.
Independence Party Town Board candidate Brad Bender, who is cross-endorsed by the Democratic Party, has posted $6,500 in contributions, adding to about $3,900 he had left over from his unsuccessful council bid in 2011 and money he had raised at a fundraiser last year in anticipation of this year’s race.
His Democratic running mate, Deputy Town Supervisor Frank Zappone, has posted just $450 in the July financial report, though he had yet to hold a fundraiser at the time.
Ms. Kabot attributed the wide gap in fundraising to a number of factors, not the least of which being that an incumbent typically has a large advantage in terms of donations, both because of the ability to get an earlier start in beating the bushes and due to leftovers from previous races. She noted that when she unseated former Supervisor Patrick Heaney in 2007, after challenging and beating him in a Republican Party primary, he had a campaign fund bursting with nearly $500,000, some 10 times the amount she would ultimately raise for the election campaign.
“It’s about the name recognition and the boots on the ground to get the vote out,” she said. “I spend my time at fire department fundraisers and events like that, the local people events with the people who have long roots in this community.”
Much of the fund disparity between the two supervisor candidates can be accounted for in Ms. Throne-Holst’s securing of a far larger number of major contributions from individuals and corporations, many of them reaching the $1,902 gift limit for any one contributor to a town election. As of the July 13 filing, Ms. Throne-Holst had received 21 contributions of $1,000 or more—16 of those met or were within $100 of the maximum contribution. Ms. Kabot, meanwhile, had received just two $1,000-plus contributions.
Ms. Kabot said she has welcomed, even encouraged, the smaller contributions and has refused to accept any money from individuals or corporations that have applications or business contracts pending before the town. However, her largest contribution to date—$1,800—came from Gin Lane resident Susan Allen, who has battled the Southampton Town Trustees in court for decades over the protection of her oceanfront home.
Ms. Throne-Holst does not appear to have been so exclusive. Her reports carry the names of developers Robert Morrow and a corporation associated with prolific Bridgehampton construction firm Farrell Building. Also among the donors are Sebonack Golf Club owner Michael Pascucci and numerous residents of the Bridgehampton and Sagaponack Erosion Control Districts, whose application for a $25 million beach nourishment project has been a cause for celebration for the supervisor over the past year.
Despite the fund disparity, Ms. Kabot has outspent Ms. Throne-Holst slightly, thus far. The challenger had spent a little more than $12,700 as of the July 13 financial reports, largely on catering for her two fundraisers and on printing campaign signs and literature. Ms. Throne-Holst had spent about $11,000. Her largest expenses through mid-July were for catering of a fundraiser, print and radio advertising, and paying $1,000 to her campaign treasurer, Carole Nappi, a certified public accountant.
Ms. Throne-Holst’s fundraising was the subject of some of the first volleys in what is expected to be a knock-down, drag-out race come the fall. Ms. Kabot has raised issues with, and even called for investigations of, Ms. Throne-Holst’s campaign fund management. She has highlighted the supervisor’s acceptance of nearly $10,000 in donations that were above the legal limit for some donors in 2011 and, last month, called for an investigation of what appeared to be deficits in Ms. Throne-Holst’s fund at another time.
Ms. Throne-Holst said both issues arose from honest mistakes by her campaign and that they have been addressed by her new campaign treasurer, Ms. Nappi. The overages in 2011 were due to a misunderstanding of the campaign contribution limits for corporations and all those who over-gave have been issued checks refunding the improper amounts, the supervisor said. Some of those checks have not been cashed, however, so the accounts still show the overages, but Ms. Throne-Holst said the money is accounted for and will not be used by her campaign under any circumstances.
“My treasurer now is a professional accountant, and there are no discrepancies,” she said. “I can’t help that some people never cashed the checks—I’m just not touching the money, and I’m reminding them that they need to cash those checks.”