Editorial: Get Out And Vote!

Opinion_Election 2017 Web.jpg

Election Day is next Tuesday, November 7.

It’s a particularly important election to residents of the Town of Huntington where voters will elect the first new Supervisor in more than 20 years and the outcome could shift the balance of power from the current Democratic Party majority.

Three candidates are squaring off in the Supervisor’s race: Democratic Councilwoman Tracey Edwards, Republican Assemblyman Chad Lupinacci, and independent Michael Raspantini, running under the End Corruption in Huntington banner. The current Supervisor, Frank Petrone, is retiring.

There are two seats on the Town Council up for grabs as well, though only Councilman Mark Cuthbertson is seeking re-election. Councilwoman Edwards’ term is also up this year, but she’s running for Supervisor and you can’t run for both. So at minimum, there will be one new face on the board come January.

Cuthbertson is a 20-year veteran of the board. His running mate on the Democratic ticket is Emily Rogan, a longtime Huntington school board member. On the Republican side, Ed Smyth and Jim Leonick, both attorneys, are on the ballot.

Complicating matters is the candidacy of current board Councilwoman Susan Berland for a seat on the Suffolk County Legislature. Should she be successful in her race, the seat she currently holds on the town board would become vacant. The remaining members of the board could appoint someone to fill that seat, a special election could be called, or it could be left vacant until the next regular election. Whatever party holds the majority will call the shots when that time comes.

On the town level, voters will also decide between Republican John Clark and Democrat Kevin Orelli to be the next Superintendent of Highways.

There are also important county races. Suffolk will have a new District Attorney and a new Sheriff in January, and at least two of four local legislators will be new as incumbents have reach the end of term-limited tenures.  

Long Islander News made its endorsements in Town races last week, backing Tracey Edwards for Supervisor, Mark Cuthbertson and Ed Smyth for Council, and Kevin Orelli for Superintendent of Highways. Now, it’s up to you. Get out and vote Nov. 7, and remind family, friends and neighbors to do the same. It’s your most important right.