Candidates Await Results Of Tuesday’s Primary For Conservative Line In Southampton Town Supervisor Race

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Southampton Town Conservatives voted Tuesday for the candidate they want to see carry their party’s banner in the town supervisor election this November, but the results of the 144 ballots, all write-ins, are not expected to be tallied by the Suffolk County Board of Elections until Thursday at the earliest.

The delay in counting the ballots means that former Republican town supervisor Linda Kabot, who is seeking the Conservative line through an active write-in campaign, and Phil Keith, a columnist for The Press and the Conservative Party’s last-minute candidate for the line, will have to wait a bit longer to see if either one will have the line in November.

“I was told that it will be at least a week due to recanvassing of machines [and] paper write-ins,” Ms. Kabot said on Wednesday morning. “Plus [there are] absentee ballots still coming in.”

BOE officials said 144 of the 712 registered Conservatives in Southampton Town—or about 20 percent of those registered voters—cast write-in ballots in the primary on Tuesday as neither candidate had secured a place on the ballot.

Even if she loses the line, Ms. Kabot, who lives in Quogue, will still have the Republican line in November when she looks to unseat Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst, an Independence Party member who has been cross-endorsed by the Town Democrats. Mr. Keith, who lives in Southampton, would have only the Conservative line in November if he is victorious.

The Conservative Party’s official nominee for the post, Howard Heckman III, was disqualified in July because a petition nominating him did not contain the requisite 
number of signatures after a legal challenge filed by Ms. Kabot got several signatures—including Mr. Heckman’s own as well as his wife’s—ruled ineligible.

In another minor party race, Southampton Town Highway Superintendent Alex Gregor held off a write-in challenge from his Republican opponent, David Betts, for the Working Families Party line in the November election.

There are fewer than 100 people in Southampton Town registered with the Working Families Party, but 27 of them turned out to cast votes on Tuesday, many times the overall average turnout on primary day across Long Island.

Mr. Gregor, whose name was the only one printed on the ballot, received 19 votes. Mr. Betts, who had forced the primary by filing a petition of his own but was not named on the ballot, finished with eight write-in votes, according to the Board of Elections.

Mr. Gregor is a registered member of the Independence Party but has been cross-endorsed by the Democratic Party as well and will now have three lines on the November ballot. Mr. Betts will now have two lines, the Republican and Conservative.

In county-wide races, Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota, a Democrat, defeated Republican challenger Ray Perini for the GOP line. The win ensures that Mr. Spota will run unopposed again this November. And Suffolk County Sheriff Vincent DeMarco, a registered Conservative who has that party’s line, held off a Republican Party line challenge posed by Suffolk County Police officer Samuel Barreto.

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