I once said cynically of a politician, 'He'll doublecross that bridge when he comes to it.'
-- Oscar Levant (1906 - 1972)
The recent news pieces about election time in the Hamptons have evidenced a panoply of sub rosa deals and three-dimensional chess moves. Most of the reports focus upon a Republican deal in which Jim Malone was to have dropped back to run for Town Board instead of challenging Linda Kabot for Supervisor of the Town of Southampton. Current Supervisor Linda Kabot was to have a clear run in November, having apparently made peace with the Republican Party to avoid another Primary contest (she won the last one two years ago against incumbent Skip Heaney). But, apparently, the antagonism among Republicans who supported Heaney has deep strong roots and the deal to have Malone run for a Town Board seat and to step aside for Kabot to take the race to November against Anna Throne-Holst, has blown up.
With the Conservative Party endorsing no one in November for Supervisor, the several lines on the ballot gives an edge to Throne-Holst. Postings on 631politics (http://twinforks.com/ "Conservative Party Tricks") have some blog entries that describe the gory details.
Malone is still running for Town Board but the tacit agreement that the Republicans would support Kabot for re-election has been side-tracked with the removal of support by the Conservative party endorsement.
The tea leaves point to a bait and switch whereby the Republicans would rather hand the election to Throne-Holst for Supervisor this round and place their bets on the contest for Supervisor next time around between Throne-Holst and Malone – than allow Kabot to have another term. Of course, one should not underestimate Kabot’s political acumen or popularity with residents. An internal struggle that would remove Heaney’s grip on the party may now be playing out between Kabot and Heaney forces.
No matter what you think about Skip Heaney, though, he continues to land on his feet and exert his influence over Southampton Town politics.