Huntington Republicans announced late Friday night that they had endorse Councilman Edmund Smyth for town supervisor, succeeding Chad Lupinacci, who said Friday afternoon he wouldn’t run again.
Also on the Republican slate are retiring South Huntington superintendent Dr. David Bennardo and Salvatore Ferro, CEO of a home improvement firm, to run for the Town Board. Two spots, that currently held by Democrat Mark Cuthbertson, who is running for the Suffolk County Legislature, and now Smyth’s spot, are open.
“Ed Smyth is a Marine, a husband and father and a lifelong Huntington resident,” said Chairman Thomas McNally. “He has a vision for the future of our town and he exudes leadership. There’s not a better or more qualified person to be Huntington’s next Town Supervisor.”
“I want to thank Chairman McNally and the Huntington Republican Committee for placing their trust in me to lead our town,” Smyth said. “We’ve experienced tremendous success over the last three years and I look forward to building on these achievements as town supervisor.”
With the departure of the long-serving Cuthbertson, and Lupinacci’s decision not to run again, the board is about to undergo significant changes with two new councilmen and a supervisor who would be serving their first term.
In addition to the board candidates, Republicans said Andre Sorrentino would challenge Kevin Orelli as highway superintendent, while Stephanie Bontempi will run against Cuthbertson for the 18th Legislative District, Manuel Esteban, Sr. challenging Susan Berland in the 16th District, and Stephen Becker challenging Tom Donnelly in the 17th District.
Smyth, who unsuccessfully challenged State Sen. Jim Gaughran for the 5th District seat in November, will run against Democrat Rebecca Sanin for the supervisor’s job. He was first elected to the Town Board in 2017.
Bennardo was principal of Harborfields High School before becoming superintendent in South Huntington. During his tenure, Walt Whitman High School has been recognized as a “Top 100 American High School,” and recipient of the 2016 Public Service Award from the Suffolk County Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission, as well as the 2017 Boy Scouts of America Good Deed and Excellence in Education Award. Bennardo, an adjunct professor at St. John’s University, lives in Greenlawn with his wife, Jill, a teacher in the Bethpage School District, and their children, Tiana, Connor, and Jen.
Ferro is president, CEO and owner of Alure Home Improvements and a member of the Huntington Zoning Board of Appeals. He is a member of the Huntington Hospital Board, boxed in Long Island’s Fight for Charity in 2013, which he now hosts annually. In 2014, Ferro was honored by the Long Island Association with the Harry Chapin Humanitarian Award for Community Service. Ferro lives in Commack with his three children, his new bride Molly and her daughters.
Democrats previously named Rebecca Sanin as their candidate for supervisor. They also chose Northport businessman Joe Schramm and former Huntington school board president Jen Hebert, as their candidates for the Town Board openings.
The announcement about Smyth and other GOP candidates arrived at a minute after midnight.
Councilman Gene Cook did not respond to a request for a comment. He announced last week that he planned to run against Lupinacci.