Southampton Town Councilwoman Bridget Fleming, D-Noyac, is mulling throwing her hat into the race for New York State Senate, and has opened an exploratory committee.
Longtime incumbent Kenneth P. LaValle, R-Port Jefferson, intends to fight to retain his seat, and Fleming has a Democratic opponent as well — Jennifer Maertz, D-Rocky Point, in February. Maertz challenged LaValle last year and , after stepping in to take the place on the ballot of Regina Calcaterra, D-New Suffolk, who was disqualified over residency requirements.
Fleming's first foray into politics was in 2009, running for Southampton Town Council. She fell short of attaining a council seat that first election, but a few months later she won a special election to complete the unexpired term of Anna Throne-Holst, I-Noyac, who vacated her council seat after being elected town supervisor. in November 2011, receiving the most votes out of four candidates for two seats.
“I have to say I am encouraged by the outpouring of support I have gotten and I am struck with the level of dissatisfaction with business as usual in Albany and in the state Senate in this district,” Fleming said Thursday.
Fleming said she has been fundraising and meeting with community leaders, but has no specific timeline of when she will decide to officially declare her candidacy or not.
Candidates for Senate have until July 12 to file nominating signatures. Primary election day will be Sept. 13.
A week before the primary date, Fleming will be in Charlotte, N.C., for the Democratic National Convention. She will serve as a delegate for the First Congressional District.
Fleming said she is honored to be chosen to participate in an important part of the democratic process, having initially been asked by local leaders, then by the New York State Democratic Party.
“We will have discussions with regard to platforms and candidates, and I’m looking forward to weighing in on that," Fleming said. "It’s an honor and a responsibility and I’m really pleased that my community is looking at me in that leadership role, so I’ll do my best to live up to that.”