The Huntington NAACP had a full house at its meet the candidates night, and some residents said they gleaned enough information to help make their voting decisions.
About a dozen candidates answered questions Thursday about jobs and programs for youths; the Supreme Court decision on the Voting Rights Act; and three things incumbents have done to improve Huntington and three things candidates would do if elected.
Oliver Johnson, 40, of Huntington, who was among dozens of residents there, said the night swayed his vote. "It gave me a great idea of who to vote for," Johnson said. "Some of them I thought I would vote for, I think differently now."
Huntington Station resident Lisa Hargrove said she would have liked more questions. "But I got good information, enough to help me in my decision on who to vote for," she said.
Betty Miller, NAACP chapter president, said she was pleased with the turnout. "I am just so glad that we had so many politicians come out and let us hear what they have to say," she said.
Fielding questions at the South Huntington Library were: town Supervisor Frank Petrone, a Democrat, and his challenger, town board and Independence Party member Gene Cook; town board incumbents Mark Cuthbertson, a Democrat, and Republican Mark Mayoka; and their challengers, Democrat Tracey Edwards and Republican Josh Price.
Highway Superintendent William Naughton, a Democrat, attended, but his Conservative challenger, Peter Gunther, had a previous commitment. Also there were county Legis. William Spencer, a Democrat representing the 18th District, and his challenger, Robert Conte, a Republican; and Democrat Lou D'Amaro, who represents the 17th District, and his Republican challenger, James Martin. The 16th District representative Steve Stern attended, although he is running unopposed.
Deborah Poulus, running for Family Court Judge, and Karen Wilutis, running to be First District Court judge, addressed the crowd but did not take questions.