GOP Names Candidates For Local Election

Councilman Ed Smyth, Andre Sorrentino, Councilman Eugene Cook, Cheryl Helfer, Hector Gavilla, Garrett Chelius, Town Clerk Jo-Ann Raia and Huntington Republican Committee Chairman Toni Tepe gather for the announcement for the GOP’s candidates for town elections.  Photo/Huntington Republican Committee

Councilman Ed Smyth, Andre Sorrentino, Councilman Eugene Cook, Cheryl Helfer, Hector Gavilla, Garrett Chelius, Town Clerk Jo-Ann Raia and Huntington Republican Committee Chairman Toni Tepe gather for the announcement for the GOP’s candidates for town elections. Photo/Huntington Republican Committee

By Connor Beach
cbeach@longislandergroup.com

The Huntington Republican Committee announced earlier this week the slate of GOP candidates for local elections in November.

Chairman Toni Tepe confirmed Wednesday the committee had named candidates for Suffolk Legislature, Town Board and Town Clerk.

Legislator Robert Trotta, of Fort Salonga, was tapped to run for reelection in the 13th Legislative District, which includes the eastern portion of the Town of Huntington. Trotta has served in the position since 2014.

Trotta had expressed interest in running for County Executiveagainst Democratic incumbent Steve Bellone, but Tepe said the committee has endorsed Republican John Kennedy. Kennedy has served as Suffolk Comptroller since 2015.

The Republicans have chosen Hector Gavilla to challenge Democratic incumbent Susan Berland in the 16th District. Gavilla, of Dix Hills, ran an unsuccessful campaign against Berland for the seat in 2017.

Garrett Chelius, of Lloyd Harbor, was selected to run against Democratic incumbent and veteran legislator William “Doc” Spencer in the 18th District.

The GOP’s candidates for Huntington Town Board include incumbent Gene Cook and first-time candidate Andre Sorrentino.

Cook, of Greenlawn, an Independence Party member, was first elected to the town board in 2011, and also ran on the Republican line in his previous two campaigns for town board.

Sorrentino, of Huntington, currently serves as the town’s director of general services. He was appointed to the position in February 2018. Sorrentino is also the co-owner of Huntington-based PAS Professional Automotive Services.

Sorrentino and Cook will face Democratic incumbent Joan Cergol. Cergol was first appointed to the town board in December 2017, ran a successful campaign for a one-year term last November.

Tepe said the committee has not decided on a candidate to run for Huntington Receiver of Taxes against Democratic incumbent Jillian Guthman. A Republican candidate for the position will be named in the coming days, according to Tepe.

Tepe also said Assemblyman Andrew Raia has been tapped to run for town clerk against Democratic candidate Simon Saks. Raia’s mother and currently Town Clerk Jo-Ann Raia decided recently she would not seek reelection after 38 years in the position.

The Republicans have also tapped Cheryl Helfer to run for District Court Judge.