With Election Day just seven weeks away away, Linda Kabot, the former Southampton Town Supervisor who lost re-election in 2009 following a drunken-driving arrest, announced a write-in campaign against current Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst.
Kabot, a Republican who was later acquitted of the driving while intoxicated charge, said supporters approached her in recent weeks to run because Throne-Holst is currently running unopposed. The Republican Party never named a candidate to face off against the first-term incumbent.
Kabot said she will run an “independent grassroots campaign.”
“There really was not a race,” Kabot said. “There was no airing of the issues, no dialogue on the matters the community members are concerned about. No lively debate.”
She issued a statement on her website Wednesday announcing her candidacy, along with an election ballot guide with instructions on how to write in her name when voters hit the polls Nov. 8.
With lever machines long gone, Kabot feels new election procedures, which make residents pencil in their vote in on a scantron, will aid her come Election Day.
Her critics doubt the race as a sure-bet for Kabot. She has already heard that a write-in campaign is a “long shot.” But Kabot remains enthusiastic about pounding the pavement and mingling with voters.
Last November, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) won her Senate seat two months after announcing her write-in campaign. She was the first U.S. Senate candidate to declare victory as a write-in candidate since 1954, even after losing the GOP primary.
“People want to participate in an election process…it should not be a coronation of one individual,” Kabot said.
Kabot has experience in the political arena. She was first elected to the Town Council in 2001 and became Supervisor in 2007. Two months before the 2009 election, Kabot was pulled over on Labor Day in Westhampton Beach and was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated. She believes that incident led to her unseating as supervisor.
“It certainly derailed my election,” Kabot said.
Jurors found Kabot not guilty of DWI, driving while ability impaired, refusing to provide a breath test and failure to maintain a lane following the week-long trial at Riverhead Town Justice Court.
She was convicted of failure to stop at a stop sign.
Kabot has filed a notice of claim with the Village of West Hampton Beach, a preemptive move in case she decides to file a lawsuit.
“I certainly do feel I have experienced an unusual level of betrayal,” she adds, “but I have acceptance and forgiveness in my heart and that’s how you move forward.”