Huntington lawyer Edmund J. Smyth, a first-time political candidate, was thrilled to win his race for town council in November. And he was even more excited to receive a personal letter of congratulations from someone he refers to as “the big man,” President Donald Trump.
Smyth is a Republican and not necessarily a Trump acolyte. His wife is decidedly not a fan, he told The Point. But the family was giddy to receive the letter from the White House mentioning his wife, Coriander, and their “beautiful children.”
“I’m confident that your work at the local level will help Make America Great Again!” Trump wrote to Smyth, who was sworn in as a council member earlier this month.
In his closing sentence, Trump asked Smyth a personal favor. “Please give my best to John Lavalle [sic] when you next see him,” he wrote about the Suffolk GOP chairman. LaValle, who was an early supporter of Trump and a frequent media surrogate during the campaign, told The Point Friday: “It’s nice to see he hasn’t forgotten about Suffolk.”
Smyth, a former Marine, was the running mate of new Huntington Town Supervisor Chad Lupinacci. Democrats lost their town board majority in November's elections.
Lupinacci did not receive a personal letter from the president and that’s probably because Smyth has a personal Trumpian connection.
He participates in an annual golf outing, where he came to know a general contractor from Long Island who has worked on Trump projects and became friendly with him. Smyth declined to give the man’s name. As Trump began to emerge as a serious presidential candidate, Smyth said he and the rest of their foursome teased the contractor about having such a highly placed friend.
When he was sworn in this month, Smyth sent a photo to the contractor, texting in jest, “let the big man know I was elected also.”
Apparently, the mutual acquaintance did so, because two weeks later, Trump’s letter arrived.
Smyth made photocopies and is showing them around. “I understand it’s on very, very nice stationery,” said Toni Tepe, the Huntington GOP chairwoman.
Coriander Smyth spirited away the original immediately to have it framed, her husband said, lest he stain it with a coffee cup ring or jot down a phone number on the back.
Fan or not, a letter from the president generates a certain buzz.