Town Councilman Gene Cook submitted petitions Tuesday to run for Huntington town supervisor on a new political line.
Cook said the petitions submitted at the Suffolk County Board of Elections had double the signature requirement needed for the independent line STOP LIPA to appear on November’s ballot.
He said that members of both main political parties as well as residents concerned about the utility had encouraged him to run.
“I am honored and proud that residents of Huntington felt so strongly in their support of me that they started to circulate petitions on my behalf, ” Cook said.
The councilman was originally elected in 2013 as an independent but registered as a Republican after new state election law requirements made it more difficult for smaller parties, such as the Independence and Green parties, to remain on the ballot.
In February, Cook announced that he would primary Town Supervisor Chad Lupinacci in an effort to dislodge him from the job over a sex harassment lawsuit. But instead of going with Cook, Huntington Republicans chose Town Councilman Ed Smyth to run for the seat after Lupinacci agreed not to run again.
Cook has been a leading opponent of a settlement with LIPA over taxes paid on the Northport power plant; he was the only No vote when the Town Board accepted it in September.
“Huntington’s economic future is a concern with the nation coming out of a pandemic, Huntington taxpayers facing a massive tax increase due to the LIPA settlement. Voters need to know that the Town Supervisor not only knows their concerns, but has a track record of getting things done. When I saw what these Huntington voters were doing for me, I had no choice but to agree to be a candidate this November, even after I dropped my efforts to primary after Supervisor Lupinacci decided not to seek re-election.”
“This grassroots effort to add the STOP LIPA line to the ballot, is not only about the tax increase faced by the settlement with LIPA, but ensuring Huntington’s economic future remains strong while still providing the services that the Town requires. Preserving the quality of life that makes the Huntington community attractive to not only the residents that live here, but the businesses who line our Main Streets, and the visitors who frequent our Town. This effort is about Huntington, not the candidates on the ballot,” Cook said. “That is why I agreed that the petitions should be submitted, as these signatures included a balanced and diverse support from members of all political parties.”