Upon further review...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Upon further review...

...or, curse you, Dave Willmott, Jr.!

Actually, I'm genuinely grateful that Dave took the time to correct me on a mis-recollection in an OtBB entry of two days ago, because by the time I got done (just now!) researching the matter, I have a much clearer picture of what happened in Southampton Town in the early '90s.

Thanks to the good offices of Southampton Town Clerk Sundy Schermeyer, and the collective memories of some who were there, it came about that the Southampton Party, formed in 1991 by former Southampton Town Attorney and Suffolk County Legislator Fred Thiele, attorney Doug Penny and Joanna Ferraro-Levy, successfully challenged incumbent Supervisor George Stavropoulos and one of the Town Council.

Thiele served his first term and 15 months of a second term, running for re-election without Republican opposition as young Willmott correctly pointed out, beating Democratic candidate Ron Moss and Conservative standard-bearer, Vince Cannuscio.

(Other Town Board members around that time included Barbara Gubbins and Jim Drew.)

So yes, the Southampton Town GOP did cede the 1993 Supervisor's race to incumbent Fred Thiele, but Fred had, until just recently, always been a Republican and run on that line previously for Suffolk County Legislature and later for New York State Assembly.

What I had completely dis-remembered was that when Fred left the Supervisor's office in mid-term, with the Southampton Town Board split politically and no deal able to be made from one of its member to move up, Richard Blowes filled out the remainder of Thiele's second term as "Acting Supervisor."

In the 1995 Town Elections, Cannuscio became Supervisor, a position he held for six years.

And that, I believe to be accurate and complete.


1. Tugboat Bertha said...

Thiele was always a Republican? Are you sure he wasn't a Democrat when he worked for East Hampton Town? Or perhaps he has been mistaken for someone else?

To my knowledge Thiele was a lifetime Republican since he started his political career as an aide to John Behan... 'til he changed his registration to the Independence Party just over two years ago.

2. David Willmott, Jr. said...

Not to pile on, but actually the 1993 GOP election strategy resulted in the election of Skip Heaney and Martha Rogers to the Town Board. Ms. Gubbins won the Special Election in 1994 beating Bill Ciraco for the Town Board seat that was vacated when Marietta Seaman was elected Town Clerk in that 1993 election. In 1995 when Vince Cannuscio was elected Supervisor he beat Ms. Gubbins, and Jim Drew and Steve Halsey were elected to the Town Board at that point.

That's not "piling on" at all, Dave. Good information, something not immediately available through the Town Clerk or the Suffolk County Board of Elections whose clerical staff are challenged by anything other than fingernail buffing. My best hope was the morgue at The Hampton Chronicle-News, but all those years now repose in Southampton.

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