Naughton, Town GOP Victorious In Primary
Primary voters provided few surprises on Tuesday night as the Huntington GOP’s designees fended off several challenges on the line in the town supervisor and town board races, and as Democratic Highway Superintendent incumbent William Naughton secured a win against two strong challengers.
GOP Ticket Beats Back Challenge
With their victory, the Huntington’s GOP decisively squelched a challenge to its Town Board and Supervisor ticket.
According to unofficial results posted by the Suffolk County Board of Elections Tuesday night, Councilman Gene Cook, an Independence Party member, easily defeated former State Supreme Court Justice Robert Lifson 3,081-1,343 in the Republican Supervisor primary, and former Huntington Maritime Services Director Harry Acker 323-190 on the Independence ballot.
Cook’s Republican running mates, Councilman Mark Mayoka and Josh Price, beat former Councilman Mark Capodanno by more than 1,000 votes apiece in the Republican primary for Huntington town board. Mayoka led with 3,291 votes, followed by Price with 2,930 and Capodanno with 1,889.
County chairman John Jay LaValle congratulated Huntington Republicans at their Park Avenue headquarters around 11 p.m., after the outcome seemed certain.
Huntington GOP Chair Toni Tepe said the decisive win proves Huntington residents are “tired of the present administration” and saw through what Republicans alleged was an attempt at “party raiding” by town Democrats using Lifson, Capodanno and Acker.
“We took the first step tonight, and we are going to move forward and win the election in November,” Tepe said.
Naughton Wins Highway Race
With 1,265 votes in the Democratic primary, 26-year Superintendent of Highways incumbent William Naughton defeated challengers Kevin Orelli and Donald McKay.
Despite what Naughton described as low voter turnout and an uphill battle, the incumbent said he is confident he will prevail in November’s general election. Naughton will face Conservative Peter Gunther, who has received Republican and Independence Party backing.
“We had to fight all the way to have won…I didn’t have any party support, but we survived,” Naughton said. “It was a little disgusting, but we have to move forward.”
The divide between second and third place was razor-thin. Orelli was second with 1,089 and McKay collected 1,088 votes, according to unofficial results.
Trotta Pulls Off 13th LD Upset
Meanwhile, in the 13th LD, which now includes large portions of Northport and East Northport, Suffolk County PD detective and community activist Robert Trotta pulled out a major upset to secure the Republican line.
He handily won a three-way race with 2,259 votes, easily outpacing party designee Paul Hennings with 860 votes and plumbers union representative Mario Mattera with 811.
However, Hennings remains on the ballot with the Conservative Party line. Trotta and Hennings will take on Democratic nominee Elaine Turley for the legislative seat.
Democratic Ticket Ahead In Working Families Race
The status quo appears to have held in the Working Families contest as well. Democratic Supervisor Frank Petrone led challenger Valerie Stringfellow 100-76 in the unofficial results, and Democrats Tracey Edwards and Councilman Mark Cuthbertson led challenger Richard Hall in the town council primary. Edwards leads with 167 votes, followed by Cuthbertson at 95 and Hall with 85.
Spota, DeMarco Now Unopposed
While the race to Nov. 5 is now beginning in earnest for most candidates, election season essentially ended Tuesday night for Suffolk DA Thomas Spota and Sheriff Vincent DeMarco after they won GOP primaries.
Spota, of Mt. Sinai, defeated Huntington criminal defense attorney Ray Perini 11,763- 9,297, while DeMarco, of Cold Spring Harbor, won against challenger Samuel Barreto 13,598-6,520.
Spota and DeMarco secured their position as running essentially unopposed for re-election by winning the GOP primaries.