Smyth, Ferro, Bennardo Win in Huntington

Democratic Assemblyman Steve Stern contemplates election results Tuesday night.

Updated: Democrats across Huntington and Suffolk County appeared headed for a wipeout Tuesday as Republicans held onto control of town government and grabbed seats in the Suffolk County Legislature that had long been safely Democratic.

The most shocking was the potential defeat of Legislative Majority Leader Susan Berland, D-Dix Hills, who was trailing newcomer Manny Esteban at 1 am Wednesday by 52 percent to 47 percent. There were 814 absentee ballots uncounted and Esteban led at that point by more than 500 votes.

That possible loss, coupled with the defeat of Mark Cuthbertson by Republican Stephanie Bontempi in the 18th District, and other Republican victories, will cost Democrats control of the legislature in January.

She held the lead of nearly 54 percent with all precincts reporting, but 1,321 absentee votes uncounted. 

Also defeated was Suffolk County District Attorney Tim Sini, a Democrat.

In Huntington, Republican Ed Smyth defeated Democrat Rebecca Sanin and independent Gene Cook. And two other newcomers, Sal Ferro and Dr. David Bennardo, were elected to the town board as Republicans. That will give the Republicans solid control of the board, while Cook, who joined the Republicans last year but often served as a swing vote, remains as a member. Joan Cergol is the only Democrat.

Ferro, a businessman, and Bennardo, retired South Huntington school superintendent, defeated educator Jen Hebert and businessman Joe Schramm. Bennardo, at more than 30,000 votes, and Ferro with more than 28,000 as of Tuesday night, were the top two vote getters in all Huntington races.

Republican Andre Sorrentino was elected as highway superintendent, beating incumbent Kevin Orelli.

Smyth, a member of the Town Council, will succeed Chad Lupinacci as supervisor; he chose not to run again after one term because of complications with a lawsuit charging sexual misconduct.

The election of Smyth, a lawyer, and the end of Cuthbertson’s career on the Huntington Town Board, mark a significant shift for the board, where Cuthbertson had since 1998. Whether Cook will line back up with the Republicans is not clear. Either way, Smyth will have Bennardo and  Ferro as part of his team, and most board actions require three votes.

On Sunday, Smyth, dressed like a cowboy at the town Halloween parade, joked that “there’s a new sheriff in town,” even though he’s a member of the same party that has run Town Hall for the last four years.

What becomes of ranking Republican officials such as Town Attorney Nick Ciappetta, who served with both Lupinacci when the latter was on the South Huntington school board, as well as Bennardo who was district superintendent, is unclear. Ciappetta is currently also the president of the South Huntington school board.

Note: numbers are not final since absentee ballots remain to be counted.

10 Replies to “Smyth, Ferro, Bennardo Win in Huntington”

  1. Just hoping these local Republicans will put the public interest first and not subscribe to the conspiracy theories, racism, and divisiveness that has infected the party on a national level.

  2. @ Art Papayanopulos: Sir, Looking back at the racial and gender makeup of various Republican Presidential cabinets, Supreme Court appointments, etc,, your claim of racism is a hollow regurgitation from the talking heads at CNN, MSNBC, The View, etc. The late Colin Powell was promoted to the Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and was appointed Secretary State By a Republican. Same with Condoleezza Rice. Dr. Ben Carson, Alberto Gonzales, Jerome Adams, Antonia Novello, Clarence Thomas, Sandra Day O’Connor, Amy Comey Barrett, etc. The list goes on and on. And to top it off, these people were not appointed because of their race and gender, they were appointed for their intelligence and experience. The Republican Party fielded a very diverse card of candidates in the 2020 election with the vast majority of Republicans elected to the House and Senate in 2020 being of color, women, veterans or a combination thereof. The new Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General are Black and Latino respectively.

    As someone who has routinely voted for women, blacks, Latinx, not for their color but for their stand on the issues, I am fed up with being called a racist for voting for Republican or Conservative candidates.

    We have a media and a political party who claims that all whites are oppressors, all People of Color are oppressed and that this is unchangeable. This is the foundation of school curricula now. Those who are screaming racism are racists. The door of prejudice and bigotry swings both ways.

    Remember, Republican Lincoln freed the slaves, and Republican Eisenhower integrated the military, Racists George Wallace and Lester Maddox were Democrats. Democrats support Planned Parenthood, an organization founded by Racist Margaret Sanger and a long history of advocating eugenics and racism.

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