Tuesday’s Primary

An interesting picture of East End politics in which the person one knows well is not necessarily the favorite

In the Democratic primary on Tuesday, David Calone, a political first-timer, faces Anna Throne-Holst, a former Southampton Town supervisor. The winner will battle Representative Lee Zeldin, a Republican nearing the end of his first term. How support for the Democratic Party candidates gelled presents an interesting picture of East End politics in which the person one knows well is not necessarily the favorite.

Mr. Calone is all but a stranger in East Hampton Town, but he has been backed by all four of the town board’s Democrats, and The New York Times, which cited his “stronger record as an environmentalist.” This includes what has been seen as a key vote against the disputed “555” housing complex in Amagansett, which he cast as chairman of the Suffolk Planning Commission. The town Democratic Committee endorsed him as well, and the story is much the same among Southampton Town Democrats.

One might wonder just why there has not been equal depth of support for Ms. Throne-Holst. This apparently is due in part to Ms. Throne-Holst’s several policy reversals, including some backstabbing on the East Hampton Airport, and to a frequent complaint that she is difficult to work with. Some of her most prominent backers have tended to be people who do not know her so well. Senator Kristin Gillibrand, for example, is from upstate. Perhaps most notably, Suffolk Legislator Bridget Fleming, who served alongside her on the Southampton Town Board, favors Mr. Calone.

As best we can predict, the First Congressional District race between Mr. Zeldin and whoever wins the primary next week will be decided on turnout. With Donald Trump at the top of the Republican ticket and Hillary Clinton the Democratic, how the presidential candidates fare here may well have something to do with which candidate is favored for the House of Representatives, which in turn depends on who goes to the polling places that day. With Ms. Throne-Holst engendering considerable bad feeling locally, Democratic prospects would more obviously be buoyed by the likable Mr. Calone.