The Republican nominee for Huntington Town Supervisor said he has a clear agenda of what he would like to address if elected in November.
Town board member Edmund J.M. Smyth, newly named candidate for supervisor, said he wants town hall to get back to normal by reopening it to staff and the public using maximum capacity limits under state COVID-19 restrictions and will be focusing on technology, including more online services, as well as infrastructure improvements.
He said his three years’ experience serving on the board has given him the foundation to get started quickly.
"I know the departments, I know the strengths and weakness in the various department," Smyth said. "I know where we made great improvements and where we need to make more improvements."
The Republican town committee made Smyth’s candidacy announcement just after midnight on Saturday morning, hours after incumbent Chad Lupinacci announced he would not seek reelection for another four-year term.
Smyth, 49, of Lloyd Harbor was first elected to the town board in 2017. He is a lifelong resident of Huntington who practices real estate law in downtown Huntington. He’s served on the Lloyd Harbor Zoning Board of Appeals. He was a staff sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. In November, he unsuccessfully ran for the 5th District state senatorial seat.
Smyth said he was not expecting to run for supervisor, but to defend his town board seat.
Political circles were a buzz Thursday with rumors about Lupinacci’s future, after a tenure marred by controversy. He was called out for a lack of diversity for top town government positions at the start of his administration, and in December 2018 he was sued for sexual harassment by a former staffer who worked for him while he served as a state assemblyman. He also was the subject of a town investigation in 2020 by independent counsel into a sexual harassment allegation that was found to be unsubstantiated.
Two of Lupinacci's administration appointees had to resign — one over sending a vulgar email and another who is accused of lying on a Civil Service application.
Republican Town Board member Gene Cook announced in a Facebook Live on Feb. 18 he was running for supervisor after a poll he commissioned showed Lupinacci couldn’t win reelection. He said he hoped to get the Republican nomination.
But at some point last week the committee reached out to Smyth.
"They called me and asked if I would be interested. I said ‘I’m interested'," he said.
Cook said he supports Smyth.
"The Republicans chose Ed Smyth and I will stand by that," Cook said.
Joining Smyth on the ticket is South Huntington school district Superintendent David Bennardo and business owner Salvatore Ferro. Andre Sorrentino, who lost a bid to sit on the town board in 2019, is the party’s candidate for superintendent of highways.
Huntington Democrats announced its slate for the town board earlier in February. Tapped for supervisor is Huntington Station resident Rebecca Sanin, president and chief executive of the Health and Welfare Council of Long Island, a nonprofit health and human services planning, education, and advocacy organization. Jennifer Hebert of Huntington and Joe Schramm of Northport are the town board candidates, with incumbent Highway Superintendent Kevin Orelli running for reelection.