Cook Looking for Decision Upholding Petitions for Ballot Line

Councilman Gene Cook will be back in court Thursday, looking for a ruling on the validity of petitions that would put him on the ballot as a candidate for Huntington  town supervisor.

Ed Smyth, Republican town councilman and candidate for supervisor, sued to knock Cook off the ballot, claiming  that some of Cook’s petition signatures  are forgeries, which Cook denies.

Cook is running on the newly formed Stop LIPA Party line.

He was first elected to the Town Board as an Independent, but joined the Republican Party after a change in state law made it more difficult for smaller parties to remain on the ballot.

In February, he announced plans to run against Republican Town Supervisor Chad Lupinacci, who is facing a lawsuit involving allegations of sexual misconduct against a male former aide, saying the incumbent needed to step aside. When Lupinacci announced shortly thereafter that he wouldn’t run for a second term, Huntington Republicans chose Smyth as their candidate.

In May, Cook announced his bid on the Stop LIPA line, which he said was a result of a grassroots effort to support him because of his fight against LIPA over property tax assessments on the Northport power plant.  Though the Town Board approved the settlement on Sept. 3 after nearly a decade of dispute as LIPA sought to reduce the taxes it paid, saying the town had over assessed the plant, Cook continues to fight the utility.

The petitions case is in State Supreme Court before Judge John Leo, a former Huntington town attorney.

Rebecca Sanin, president/CEO of the Health and Welfare Council of Long Island, is the designated Democratic and Working Families party candidate for supervisor in November.



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