TOWN OF HUNTINGTON
GOP Screening Committee Backs
Cook Supervisor Run
Also Price for councilman;
no Highway recommendation
By Danny Schrafel/ email@example.com
Gene Cook may
be their man once again. "
Huntington GOPs screening committee recommended choosing Huntington
Councilman Gene Cook, an Independence party member on the Town Board
for the last year and a half, to run for supervisor against Frank
Petrone, who is seeking his sixth term.
The committee also recommended Commacks Josh Price, an attorney,
to run for Huntington Town Board alongside incumbent Councilman
Mark Mayoka. Mayoka and Price would challenge incumbent Councilman
Mark Cuthbertson, who is seeking his fifth term, along with a second
Huntington Republican Chairwoman Toni Tepe said the GOP screening
committee made its decision after reviewing the candidates
oral presentations, candidate questionnaires and committee members
After looking at those three components, they felt Gene and
Josh were qualified to run, well respected, and particularly in
Genes situation, hes been an advocate for the people
on the Town Board.
Tepe stressed that committee members will make the final decision
at the partys upcoming convention. Tepe said no date has been
set for the Republican nominating convention. Huntington Democrats
are expected to hold their nominating convention in Halesite on
The GOP screening committee did not, however, recommend a nominee
to run for superintendent of Highways, and some party insiders say
that is a result of pressure from Huntington Conservative Committee
Chair Frank Tinari.
Insiders claim he is playing hardball with Tepe, demanding the GOP
back their superintendent of Highways candidate, Peter Gunther,
in exchange for Conservative support of the GOP Town Board slate.
Tinari denied those accusations.
We never said that, he said. We designated Pete
Gunther and we want him because we feel he is the best candidate
this time. We want to build a winning slate, and were open
When asked if there was any Conservative pressure to back Gunther,
Tepe only said shes had many conversations with Tinari.
The Conservatives appear steadfast in running Peter Gunther,
Earlier in the week, the Suffolk County GOP named its three candidates
to run for Suffolk County legislature seats in the 16th, 17th and
18th districts. The slate includes: Lisa Taranto-Fernandez, of Melville,
to challenge incumbent Steve Stern in the 16th; Melvilles
James Martin to face Lou DAmaro in the 17th, and Robert Conte,
of Huntington Station, to face incumbent William Spencer in the
Of the three nominees, Conte has drawn the most buzz, and his family
name looms large in Huntington Station and nearby communities. He
is the brother of Jim Conte, who served Huntington Station in the
New York State Assembly for nearly a quarter century. He died Oct.
16, 2012 at age 53, following a lengthy battle with cancer.