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Huntington, Long Island, Town Supervisor Not Seeking Reelection

Huntington Town Supervisor Chad Lupinacci
J.D. Allen
WSHU Public Radio
Huntington Town Supervisor Chad Lupinacci

Following an investigation into sexual harassment and assault allegations, Huntington Town Supervisor Chad Lupinacci on Long Island will not run for reelection this coming November.

“After much deliberation and consideration with my family, friends, and advisers, I have decided not to seek reelection,” Lupinacci said in a statement issued on Friday by his campaign, Friends of Chad Lupinacci for Supervisor. “To be clear, this was my decision and my decision alone made in the best interest of my family, the town and the Republican Party.”

Lupinacci was the Republican candidate elected to the position in 2017 after having represented the town in the state Assembly for three terms. He praised his accomplishments, such as creating the Bureau of Administrative Adjudication, protecting the town’s AAA-bond rating, and making “unprecedented” investments in the town’s parks and facilities.

Last month, an independent investigation found alleged sexual harassment and assault by a town worker were unsubstantiated. Republicans accused Democrats of running a smear campaign against Lupinacci. The independent counsel said town employees interviewed worked to mislead the investigation. Democrats said the probe did not clear Lupinacci of wrongdoing.

A separate ongoing civil lawsuit against Lupinacci by a former state Assembly aide also alleges sexual assault and harassment in an Albany hotel room in 2018.

Lupinacci’s tenure was also marred by criticism over the lack of diversity in his appointed administration. Also, two of his administrative appointees had to be fired: one for sending an inappropriate email, the other for lying on the Civil Service examination.

The Huntington Republican Committee said on Saturday that Town Councilman Ed Smyth would be their candidate in November following Lupinacci’s leave at the end of his term.

“We’ve experienced tremendous success over the last three years,” Smyth said, “and I look forward to building on these achievements as town supervisor.”

Smyth will run against Democratic Huntington Town Councilman Gene Cook.

Cook said in a video announcement on February 18 that the “bad press” circulating about Lupinacci was not good for the town, and that although Cook considered him a “friend,” he felt that running against him was necessary.

Democrats Rebecca Sanin, the president of the Health and Welfare Council of Long Island and former assistant deputy county executive under Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, Jennifer Hebert, a director of a nursery school and former Huntington school board member, and Joe Schramm, a Northport lawyer and former board member of the Long Island Alzheimer’s Association, are all also political newcomers on the ticket.