Northampton man concedes in race for Southampton Town Council seat

TIM GANNON FILE PHOTO | Brad Bender in April 2011, when he was forced to step aside as FRNCA president so he could run for Town Council.

While the Suffolk County Board of Elections had not yet certified the results of the Southampton Town Board race, Democrat Brad Bender of Northampton has conceded, meaning that Republican Christine Scalera of Water Mill will take office on Jan. 1.

Mr. Bender believes he would have been the first Southampton Town Board member from the Flanders, Riverside or Northampton areas had he been elected.

That area of the town uses a Riverhead Zip code, belongs to the Riverhead School District and is quite often mistaken for part of Riverhead Town by those not from the immediate area.

“They finished counting the absentee ballots and I was down by 113 votes,” Mr. Bender said. “They counted everything they had to count.”

The unofficial election night count had Ms. Scalera ahead of Mr. Bender by 85 votes, with more than 800 absentee votes yet to be counted. Election workers finished counting those ballots this week.

Mr. Bender, a former president of the Flanders, Riverside and Northampton Community Association, said he plans to continue staying active in the community and in government.

He said he congratulated Ms. Scalera and promised to work with her.

Asked if he would consider running for town office again, he responded, “I wouldn’t rule it out.”

Ms. Scalera, an attorney who has previously served four years as an elected town councilwoman in Oyster Bay, replaced Republican Councilwoman Nancy Grabowski of Bridgehampton, who had to step down due to term limits.

Ms. Scalera could not immediately be reached for comment.

The political makeup of the Town Board will continue to be three Republicans and two Democratic-backed Independence Party members, including Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst and Councilwoman Bridget Fleming, who also were re-elected this year.

Incumbent Republican councilmen Chris Nuzzi and Jim Malone were not up for re-election this year, although the Republican committee originally nominated Mr. Nuzzi to run for supervisor. He declined, and the party ended up without a supervisor candidate on the ballot against Ms. Throne-Holst.

Former Republican supervisor Linda Kabot, who lost to Ms. Throne-Holst following a DWI arrest she was later acquitted of, decided late in the campaign to run for supervisor as a write-in candidate. She drew more than 3,600 votes, or about 37 percent of the total count.

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