Less than two weeks before the Sept. 10 primary, the Southampton Town Conservative Party endorsed Phil Keith, a US Naval Commander, for Southampton Town Supervisor.
Registered Conservatives can write-in their choice of candidates to carry the Conservative line in the November general election.
The Suffolk County Board of Elections tossed the nominating petition of Conservative Party town supervisor candidate Howard Heckman III. Republican candidate for Southampton Town Supervisor Linda Kabot is also vying for the Conservative party line.
"A review of the life and experience of Commander Keith confirms, he is without question, a sterling choice to carry the Conservative banner," Jeremy Brandt, the vice chairman-secretary of the Southampton Conservative Party, said in a statement on Friday. "His dedication to public service, his dedication to our nation, his outstanding education, his exceptional private sector experience and his unwavering life-long close adherence to Conservative Principles make him uniquely qualified to carry the Conservative line and serve with great distinction as our Southampton Town Supervisor."
Keith has a degree in history from Harvard University and has done master's work at the Naval War College and Long Island University. After graduation from Harvard he went into the Navy and became a Naval Aviator, serving three tours in Vietnam. He was awarded the Air Medal for Gallantry, the Presidential Unit Citation and the Navy Commendation Medal.
He rose to the rank of Commander in the Naval Reserves, and went on to be a business executive, working for two Fortune 500 firms holding several senior positions in sales and marketing. He was also a COO and CEO for several technology firms specializing in the sales and marketing of high-end educational software products, according to his biography.
A Southampton resident, he serves on the town's planning board. He is also an author and columnist, and has taught at the college level.