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Creighton gets Smithtown Conservative nod

Town of Smithtown Councilman Robert Creighton poses for

Town of Smithtown Councilman Robert Creighton poses for a portrait at Town Hall. (June 30, 2011) Credit: James Escher

Smithtown Councilman Robert Creighton Wednesday night won the endorsement of the town Conservative committee in his quest to unseat Supervisor Patrick Vecchio.

Creighton, 75, a former Conservative who became a Republican last year, plans to run a GOP primary campaign against Vecchio, 82, who won the Republican endorsement on Monday.

"He may have won by one vote, but he won," said Creighton, referring to Vecchio's slim margin of victory on Monday. "I'm not going to lose in September in the primary."

Vecchio did not seek the Conservative endorsement.

Receiving the Conservative nod virtually assures Creighton a place on the general election ballot in November, regardless of whether he wins the GOP primary.

The town Conservative committee's 184 members had selected an 11-member executive committee, who Wednesday night chose Creighton during the group's first-ever nominating convention, at the Elks Lodge in Smithtown.

There were no other candidates, town Conservative chairman Gary Forte said.

Smithtown Democrats have tapped lawyer Steven E. Snair, 31, to run for supervisor.

Forte said Creighton is "the man for the job. We thought he would lead Smithtown to better days."

The committee also endorsed incumbent councilmen Kevin Malloy and Thomas McCarthy. County Legis. Lynne C. Nowick (R-St. James), who is trying to win a seat on the town board, had sought both Republican and Conservative endorsements but received neither.

Incumbent Town Clerk Vincent Puleo and Highway Superintendent Glenn Jorgensen also won Conservative endorsements last night.

Creighton said he would focus on economic development, road improvement and "smart growth" if he becomes supervisor.

"We're going to make some changes in Smithtown," he said. "We're going to win this election."

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