Fleming Explores Challenging State Senator LaValle

Southampton Town councilwoman will also be a delegate to the Democratic National Convention.

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.”

Peconic Sunset May 25, 2012 at 02:39 PM
I sent a letter about the Tuckahoe mall to the Supervisor, Ms. Fleming and Mr. Nuzzi. I received responses from the Supervisor and Mr. Nuzzi. Radio silence from Ms. Fleming.
Frog Morton May 25, 2012 at 02:59 PM
We worked our arses off getting you elected to the Town Board. Now, with your head filled with grand ideas, you abandon us for a run against LaValle, who will kick your arse but good. I'm disappointed in your decision and, aside from being ego-fulfilling, is doing more harm than good to your political career at this point. Reconsider.
Hazel Wilkonson the First May 25, 2012 at 03:35 PM
Peconic, no surprise as they never answer letters, not even with a form reply! Ms. Fleming was already in the bag for Morrow and if she plans on seeking a seat in the state senate you can rest assured that she will do nothing to upset a possible donor.
SirPoochala May 26, 2012 at 03:36 AM
Hey Frog - why do you assume that someone can't explore running for another office while covering a part-time position on the Town Board? Malone has a full-time government job while he is supposedly at Town Hall during government work hours fulfilling his function as a Town Board Member. How do you know the exposure to issues that the other Towns in this district have and perhaps learning about their good practices won't benefit SH Town? Your statements and assumptions are off base. To Hazel - before you make damning statements about someone being "in the bag" present your proof. Just because she didn't have time to respond to a letter doesn't mean that she is on the developer's sides. It is comments like yours that limit the pool of people brave enough to run for elected office. Can we please keep to the facts? Thank you.
Peconic Sunset May 26, 2012 at 11:36 AM
Not acknowledging a letter that a constituent took the time to write suggests a lack of engagement that might work against her in a run against Senator LaValle. Note that her colleagues on the town board took the time to read the letter and respond.
Frog Morton May 26, 2012 at 02:39 PM
Seems everyone is "part time" in Town Hall at $65k per year. In addition to "exploring" her options (is that code for "attending fund raisers in NYC?"), Fleming is a practicing attorney (more part-time work) and an active mother and wife...brava! When does she (or Malone) have time to do her job in Town Hall? Which "part of the time" does she work for "us"...the taxpayer? It makes me wonder if my vote wasn't wasted on her? I want...no, I EXPECT...her and Malone to FOCUS on the business at hand. A huge budget, problems in the PD, accusations from the DEA and numerous failures to connect with the Republican side of the dias (though that failure is certainly mutual). This is too big a work load for a part-time employee.
SirPoochala May 26, 2012 at 04:17 PM
Frog - I agree that the town board position should not be part-time but it is. why don't you suggest a referendum to change the town law? also are you familiar with her life? maybe she will stop practicing law while she ponders running? maybe she has help with her family life - like from her husband. do you live inside or her house?
Peconic Sunset May 26, 2012 at 04:58 PM
Feedback becomes a gift when we receive it without defensiveness but active listening and observation. BTW-the feedback is for Ms. Fleming not Sir P, so relax!
Voice May 26, 2012 at 05:57 PM
KUDOS Bridget...from my encounters with you and my strong sense of character...I say "Forge ahead my friend...Forge ahead..."
George Lynch May 27, 2012 at 04:35 PM
Anyone who's surprised or disappointed when an elected official seeks higher office just hasn't been paying attention for a long while. They all do it, and they've always done it. And why not? Moving up is the American way. Besides, we don't exactly encourage these people to stay in place when we set term limits on them. As far as what Ms. Fleming should be doing for Southampton over the next few years, there's no question that she can do more for us in Albany than she can by staying in Southampton. That's because, as sclerotic as State government is, the law gives the State almost all the power and the Towns almost none. We should be glad when someone's willing to wade into the Albany swamp to serve our interests.
SirPoochala May 29, 2012 at 01:02 AM
Brendan - Bridget is a D not an I!
Brendan J. O'Reilly (Editor) May 29, 2012 at 03:43 AM
Thanks for catching that — just made the correction.


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