By Long Islander News Staff
Republican Ed Smyth with 24,048 votes and current Councilman Mark Cuthbertson, a democrat, with 23,950 were the two top vote-getters in the town council race, according to unofficial Suffolk BOE results.
“Individually in my campaign I remained positive and upbeat the whole time; I didn’t take any shots at my opponents,” Smyth said Tuesday night. “I think the message the Republican campaign had about the ‘new direction’ resonated with the voters, and I think Huntington does need to go in a new direction. We need to shed some light on town hall, and it’s going to take some time, but we are going to get it done.”
Absentee ballots could still play a role in both the town council race and highway superintendent races.
The Suffolk Board of Elections had 1,986 unopened absentee ballots on file for the Town of Huntington as of deadline Wednesday, according to Suffolk BOE Commissioner Nick LaLota. He added there are also 1,241 outstanding ballots that will be considered if they are postmarked at least the day before the election and are received within seven days after. There could also be “hundreds” of affidavit or emergency ballots that come in over the following days, he said.
Other town council candidates Republican Jim Leonick, who earned 23,414 votes, and Democrat Emily Rogan, who earned 22,466 votes, were narrowly defeated based on the unofficial results.
If the current results stand, there will be an at least two-seat party swing on the Huntington Town Board as Chad Lupinacci replaces Frank Petrone as supervisor and Smyth takes over for Edwards, whose term expires this year.
The seat of Councilwoman Susan Berland, a Democrat, will need to be filled as the councilwoman won election to Suffolk’s 16th Legislative District.
If Berland, whose campaign did not return a call for comment Wednesday, resigns before the end of the year, then the remaining four-member town board can appoint her replacement with a majority vote, according to town spokesman A.J. Carter. The appointee would then have the option of seeking reelection in the 2018 election.
The term of Huntington Councilman Eugene Cook, a member of the Independence Party, runs through 2019