The Huntington Republican Committee has selected Assemb. Chad Lupinacci to run for town supervisor.
Lupinacci (R-Huntington) will face Democratic contender Tracey Edwards, who sits on the town board.
Lupinacci will also be backed by the Conservative Party, Huntington Republican Committee chair Toni Tepe said.
“I was approached in the last 24 hours to seriously consider running for town supervisor and I met with my campaign and made some phone calls to see if it would be the right decision,” Lupinacci said. “We got a lot of support over the last 24 hours.”
Lupinacci, 38, of Huntington, is a real estate attorney and professor and is serving his third term representing the western half of Huntington town. He is the ranking Republican on the Higher Education Committee, and is on the Transportation, Judiciary, Election Law and Tourism committees. He’s also a former South Huntington Union Free School District trustee. Lupinacci teaches business law at Farmingdale State College and is an adjunct professor of political science at Hofstra University and St. Joseph’s College.
Town Board member Gene Cook, an Independence Party member, had announced on May 21 that he was throwing his hat into the ring to run for supervisor. But Tepe said after the announcement Cook sent her a text saying he didn’t want to seek the nomination and was withdrawing his name for consideration.
Cook said he was disappointed that he had to take his name out of consideration but he did because he thought Jennifer Thompson, who ran for town board in 2015, would have made up a more “complete” ticket.
“I believe the Republican leader should have had a more diverse ticket, race and gender wise,” Cook said. “A real leader needs to stand up for his values or they are not a real leader and that’s why I removed myself.”
Tepe stood by the committee’s selection, which includes attorneys Jim Leonick and Ed Smyth for town board. Conservative Party candidate John Clark, who retired from a career in finance, will be backed by Republicans for highway superintendent.
She said Lupinacci is a good choice despite him being happy in his current position.
“He views this as an opportunity for him to move further in his political career,” Tepe said. “He does have a genuine interest in changing the landscape of the town and making it a more people-friendly type town.”
She said the chosen candidates complement each other’s abilities.
“This slate of candidates are all very credible, well-credentialed individuals who will be able to hit the ground running the first day in office,” Tepe said. “They understand the intricacies of government and the need to service the people.”