Flanagan not running for Huntington supervisor

State Senator John Flanagan, the new chairman of

State Senator John Flanagan, the new chairman of the Senate's education committee appears before the region's foreign- language teachers. (Jan. 14, 2011) Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

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State Sen. John Flanagan said Friday that he will not run for Huntington Town supervisor this year.

The East Northport Republican announced last month that he was seriously considering challenging incumbent Frank Petrone, a Democrat, who has held that post since 1993. Flanagan, 51, announced Friday that he had decided not to seek his party's nomination.

"I feel that I can continue to strongly represent the interests of Huntington, Smithtown, Brookhaven and all Long Island residents by being in Albany, particularly as the Chair of the Education Committee," Flanagan said in a statement. "I look forward to that ongoing opportunity and very much appreciate the support of the residents of the second Senate district.

"In particular, I would like to express my appreciation to Huntington Republican chairwoman Toni Tepe for her understanding and continued support," he said.

Tepe said in an interview Friday that she was "disappointed" with Flanagan's decision.

"But I will have to say there are several other individuals who are as qualified as John to run and some of whom we have screened already," said Tepe, referring to lawyer Ed Smyth, Huntington Bay Mayor Herb Morrow and builder Peter Saros.

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She said two other possible contenders have said they would talk "seriously" with her if Flanagan decided not to run.

She said the party's screening committee has a meeting April 24 and the GOP would like to have an endorsed candidate "as soon as possible."

Petrone said in an interview that Flanagan "had to make a decision that was best for him and his family and I respect that and respect the work he is doing in the State Senate."

"We have had a partnership for all these years and I continue to look forward to working with him for the betterment of all Huntingtonians," Petrone said.

Flanagan was elected to the State Senate in 2002 after serving 16 years in the Assembly.

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