Huntington Democrats are looking to heal a party rift by working together to push towards securing the town supervisor seat up for grabs this November.
Centerport resident Darryl St. George has put out a call for his followers to support Councilwoman Tracey Edwards (D) in her campaign for Huntington Town Supervisor. Edwards beat St. George in the Sept. 12 primary, 3,482 votes to 1,664 votes, to win the Democrat line in the general election.
The political hopeful said he was initially disappointed by his loss but with time to reflect has put it in perspective.
“It was the first primary for a Democratic town supervisor and 1,600 people came out to vote for us,” St. George said. “It was still a loss, but it was a win in that sense. We got that many people to come out and be involved in the process.”
St. George said he has sat down with Edwards to talk over the key issues that came up in the primaries and their campaign platforms. They were able to find some common ground, according to the challenger, who said they were in agreement on the need for term limits for elected officials, campaign finance reform, a comprehensive review of the town’s master plan with environmental considerations, and aggressively attacking the problem of heroin/opiate addiction.
“I am able to go back to my supporters and say, ‘This is the candidate we need to get behind,’” St. George said. “In my view, I will do everything I can to help her win as I believe she is the best person for the job in this race right now.”
Edwards will face competition from the Republican candidate, current State Assemblyman Chad Lupinacci, Nov. 7.
Both Democrats agreed that the voter turnout for the Sept. 12 primary was disappointing. There were only 5,000 registered Democrats who cast their ballot for town supervisor candidate out of the more than 50,000 party members registered to vote in the Town of Huntington.
“A long-term project for me as a veteran and a history teacher is to do everything I can to get more people involved in the political process,” St. George said. “We can’t continue to accept low voter turnout as a reality.”
“In my view, I will do everything I can to help [Tracey Edwards] win as I believe she is the best person for the job in this race right now.”
— Darryl St. George
The Northport High School teacher said he hopes to hold a meeting with young leaders sometime in October to discuss what role they play in the politics, how they can get more involved and have a voice in local issues.
His strong belief that active participation is key to the democratic process is part of what inspired St. George to get involved in politics. He first contemplated running for a seat on Huntington town board in 2015, before declaring in February 2017 he would be launching a campaign for town supervisor — months before Supervisor Frank Petrone (D) announced he would not be seeking re-election.
St. George’s decision spurred what will be remembered, at least by many voters, as the first Democratic primary for Huntington Town Supervisor.
“I have a profound sense of gratitude for all the people that came out and participated in this historic event in the town, which includes Tracey’s supporters,” the political hopeful said. “But a special thank you to my supporters, I’ve come to see them as an extended family.”
While St. George said he did not have any specific plans for the future, residents may still see and hear his name.
“I’m not going anywhere. I will continue to stay involved and do what I can to fight for what I believe in,” he said.