Stern, Smitelli to Battle in Special Election

Former Suffolk County legislator Steve Stern and Janet Smitelli, a lawyer with a history of community involvement, go head-to-head in a special election Tuesday to fill the 10th Assembly seat  left empty by Chad Lupinacci’s election as Huntington town supervisor.

The two debated gun control, women’s reproductive rights, taxes and other topics at a candidates’ forum sponsored last week by the League of Women Voters. They agreed on the need to protect water and the environment in general as well as wanting a solution to the problem of gangs. The Democrat touted his experience as a legislator while the Republican pointed to her value as a newcomer to electoral politics.

Both sides accuse the other of misdeeds; the Republican state Assembly committee filed an ethics complaint, accusing Stern of turning in inconsistent financial disclosure statements.

Meanwhile, Suffolk County Democrats filed a campaign finance complaint saying Smitelli didn’t disclose all campaign finance sources.

Both candidates have stood with opponents of the Villadom project.

They are running in a district with more Democratic voters but which often chooses Republican candidates.

Lupinacci, who previously served on the South Huntington school board, was elected to the Assembly in 2012, after the death of James Conte.

If you are voting Tuesday,  you can check your polling place at  the Suffolk County Board of Elections’ website Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Members of the New York State Assembly serve two-year terms and are not subject to term limits. State legislators assume office the first Wednesday in January.

Map of the 10th Assembly district.