The wife of Huntington town board member Gene Cook says she will write in his name on the November ballot as a candidate for supervisor to fight rumors that she was the cause of him withdrawing from the race.
Lisa Cook sent a letter to reporters this month saying she will start an informal write-in campaign, and encouraged others to join her.
In a phone interview, Lisa Cook declined to elaborate on the rumors, which she called “grumblings,” but said she wanted to support her husband.
“I want to prove to them that, yes, I would be happy if he was town supervisor because frankly, honestly, I believe he’s the best one for the town based on everything he has done and everything I know he would have done,” she said. “He’s no-nonsense and doesn’t pander to the parties like other people do.”
Gene Cook said he would consider a formal write-in campaign “if the people encourage me to do it.”
In May, Cook, an Independence Party member, had announced he was running for supervisor and had expected to get the backing of town GOP leader Toni Tepe. But he quickly withdrew from the race, citing disappointment in Tepe for not backing a ticket with racial and gender diversity.
Tepe said she had accepted and respected Cook’s decision not to run, and “moved on” in order to create a ticket by June 3, the date of her designating convention.
The town GOP ultimately decided to back Assemb. Chad Lupinacci (R-Huntington) for supervisor.
“People need to recognize and understand I am not the person who makes the decision,” Tepe said. “I have a committee that I am answerable to, it’s the committee’s decision.”
Cook had run unsuccessfully for supervisor in 2013 on the GOP, Independence and Conservative lines.
State and Suffolk Independence Party leader Frank McKay did not return calls for comment.