The Conservative Party leader's choice for Southampton Supervisor Phil Keith has withdrawn his challenges to ballots cast in a Sept. 10 write-in primary race against former Southampton Supervisor Linda Kabot.
Keith made the announcement on Friday, stating, "I believe that it is in the best interest of fairness to leave the final decision on the disposition of these ballots in the hands of the Board of Election. I will abide by whatever decision they make.”
Keith had challenged 6 ballots earlier this week, stating that they should be void because Kabot's name was spelled incorrectly on them.
Kabot, who has the backing of the town Republican party, said the same is true of several ballots cast for Keith, however, she said she opted not to challenge those ballots.
In total, 144 hand-written ballots were cast by Conservative voters with 73 appearing to be cast for Kabot, and 72 for Keith.
If the Board of Elections, determines that all 73 ballots are for Kabot, she will be the winner, however, if one vote is determined not to be hers, resulting in a tie, the chair of the Conservative Party will be permitted to declare a candidate. If two or more are determined not to be in favor of Kabot, Keith's name will appear as the Conservative's candidate in November.
“If Ms. Kabot wins, I will be the first to congratulate her. No matter what happens, this is a tremendous victory for the members of the Conservative Party," said Keith.
The Suffolk County Board of Elections is expected to make a final decision early next week.