The next Huntington supervisor is Chad Lupinacci, according to Suffolk County Board of Elections results.
Lupinacci, a Republican and current state assemblyman, earned 26,481 votes to defeat Democrat and current Huntington Councilwoman Tracey Edwards, who earned 21,575 votes. A third candidate in the race, Michael Raspantini, earned 1,076 votes.
Lupinacci, 38, of Melville, watched the results roll in at a packed Nathan Hale VFW Post 1469 in Huntington Station. There, he said, “This is very exciting… I’m feeling great.”
Based on “the feedback we were hearing today, whether at the supermarkets or on the phones, we knew Huntington was ready for a new direction,” Lupinacci added. “We knew that was what the voters wanted and that they would deliver tonight.”
Lupinacci will fill the shoes of current Huntington Supervisor Frank Petrone, a Democrat, who opted not to seek reelection after 23 years at the town’s helm.
Edwards, who has served as councilwoman since 2014, said at The Larkfield in East Northport as she conceded, “At the end of the day, voters wanted to move in a new direction.”
Edwards, 55, of Dix Hills, continued, “Chad Lupinacci represented that new direction and I wish the assemblyman the best.”
Mark Cuthbertson, holding a slim and contestable lead in the four-way race for two Huntington town council seats, was stymied by that direction.
“You have a town with triple-A bond rating, is progressive on the environment, takes a responsible view toward development – what’s the change they want?” Cuthbertson said. “The supervisor has been there a while, we thought when he decided not to run that would take care of that.”
Cuthbertson with 23,950 votes and Republican Ed Smyth with 24,048 are the two top vote-getters in the town council race, according to Suffolk BOE.
"We have a great platform, and I think Huntington is really in need of our new direction," Smyth said. "This campaign was successful because I stayed positive the entire race. I think that the Republican Party as a whole showed that we had a new direction for the town, and the voters agreed with that."
Republican Jim Leonick, who earned 23,414 votes, and Democrat Emily Rogan, who earned 22,466 votes, were defeated.
The results mean that there will be an at least two-seat party swing on the Huntington Town Board.
Edwards, whose term is up this year, will lose her post. The seat of current Councilwoman Susan Berland, a Democrat, will need to be filled as the councilwoman reportedly won election to Suffolk’s 16th Legislative District.
The term of Huntington Councilman Eugene Cook, a member of the Independence Party, runs through 2019.
The race for Huntington highway superintendent is also close. Suffolk BOE results show that Democrat Kevin Orelli earned 24,000 votes to edge Republican John Clark, who earned 23,676 votes.
Story and reporting by Connor Beach, Peter Sloggatt and Andrew Wroblewski. This story is developing.