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Anna Throne-Holst wins Democratic Congressional Primary

By: 
Beth Young
Publication: 
East End Beacon
Jul
8
2016

Absentee ballots in last Tuesday’s First Congressional District Democratic Primary skewed heavily toward former Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst, widening her lead as she claimed victory in the contest against former Suffolk County Planning Commission Chairman Dave Calone Friday afternoon.

She will go on to face incumbent freshman Republican Congressman Lee Zeldin in November.

Ms. Throne-Holst had a 29-point lead after ballots were counted on election night, June 28, but after 1,803 absentee and provisional ballots were counted this week, she widened that lead to 319 votes, taking home a total of 6,479 against Mr. Calone’s 6,160.

Ms. Throne-Holst declared victory in a statement to reporters just before 2 p.m. Friday.

“I am deeply grateful to all who placed their trust and support in me, and I am truly humbled by the privilege it has been to get to know, share the concerns, and my message with so many,” she said. “I want to congratulate Dave Calone on a spirited race, and I share in the respect and support he garnered in the district, as demonstrated by the very close margin and the strength of his candidacy. I look forward to working together with Democrats across the district to take back this important seat. Lee Zeldin has shown in every way how out of step and wrong he is not only for Long Island, but for the country.”

While the primary remained civil up until a month before the election, Mr. Calone took a turn toward negative advertising in the final month of the campaign, attempting to link Ms. Throne-Holst to presidential candidate Donald Trump through contributions to the Conservative Party, a decision that may have cost him votes.

Ms. Throne-Holst, long a member of the Independence Party, was a candidate on the Democratic ticket each time she ran for town board and supervisor in Southampton, and switched her party affiliation to the Democratic Party just before this year’s primary, a fact Mr. Calone was quick to point out throughout the race.

Mr. Calone was conciliatory, however, in the following statement his campaign issued just after 5 p.m. Friday, endorsing Ms. Throne-Holst, in part, due to Lee Zeldin’s support for Donald Trump:

“We were outspent in this campaign by nearly $1 million and fell short by around 300 votes . . . that’s a testament to the great Democratic volunteers supporting our campaign across the district. We cannot continue being represented by Congressman Lee Zeldin, one of Donald Trump’s loudest advocates in Washington….so I urge people across eastern Long Island to join me in supporting our Democratic nominee, Anna Throne-Holst, to replace him this November.”

If Ms. Throne-Holst is victorious in this November’s election against Mr. Zeldin, she would be the first woman to represent New York’s First Congressional District.

Meanwhile, Mr. Zeldin released the second video supporting his re-election campaign this Tuesday, focusing on his work to help disabled veterans.

Mr. Zeldin’s campaign office released the following statement just before 5 p.m. Friday in response to the results of the Democratic primary:

“Lee Zeldin is a Congressman, soldier, and family man, who proudly served our country as a paratrooper in the U.S. Army and continues to serve today as a major in the Army Reserves. An independent, strong and effective leader in Congress, Lee has accomplished more in his first 18 months than his predecessor did in 12 years. Despite the shameful narrative that the Democrats have been desperately attempting to deceive voters into playing along with, First Congressional District voters are smart enough to sort fact from fiction and reject all of the false, negative and partisan attacks on our Congressman being spun up by the Democrats.”

“The House has passed three of Congressman Zeldin’s bills to help our veterans, as well as his two proposals to save Plum Island, his Counterterrorism Screening and Assistance Act, his proposal to keep the FAA from taking negative action against East Hampton for the enactment of aircraft noise restrictions, and his bill to allow striped bass fishing off the coast of Montauk.”

“Congressman Zeldin, in just his first term, secured a number of other key victories for Long Island, which include: securing the opening of a new health care clinic for East End veterans; getting his common core and Safe Bridges Act proposals passed and signed into law; passing a five year, fully funded transportation bill; successfully resolving over 3,000 constituent cases; permanently reauthorizing the Zadroga Act to ensure health care for our 9/11 first responders; and introduced a bill that would keep guns out of the hands of terrorists. Lee also helped lead the fight in the House to stop the Medical Device Tax for 2 years.”