Two hopefuls will face off in the Sept. 15 primary to win the Democratic party line in the wide-open race for the Huntington Town supervisor seat. For many, it is the first Democratic primary for town supervisor they can vote in.
Incumbent Huntington Town Supervisor Frank Petrone (D), 72, announced in April he would not be seeking re-election.. He has served for nearly a quarter of a century, as he was first elected to the position in 1993.
Town Councilwoman Tracey Edwards (D) will compete for votes against community leader Darryl St. George (D), of Centerport, to determine who will attempt to fill Petrone’s shoes.
Edwards has made the decision to step forward and run for supervisor, rather than seek re-election to a second term as a town council member. If she does not win the Democratic primary, she may no longer serve Huntington as an elected official.
“I chose to run for town supervisor versus running for re-election,” Edwards said. “This is not about me. This is about what I believe is best for Huntington.”
Edwards was elected to the town board in 2014, after serving 10 years on the board of education in the Elwood school district. She previously served on the board of directors of the Long Island Association and worked for 37 years at Verizon, starting as an operator and climbing the ladder to regional president of network operations.
Over the last three years, Edwards spearheaded the creation of Huntington Opportunity Resource Center, a program that offers assistance with job hunting and career training for unemployed and underemployed residents. She has also been an advocate for Huntington Station revitalization, a plan which includes construction of veteran’s housing, art space, stores, sidewalks, and a parking garage while also working to stamp out crime.
“The biggest issue is public safety and safe neighborhoods,” Edwards said. “That is always No. 1.”
If elected supervisor, Edwards said her primary goal is to improve public safety, making more affordable housing for millenials and seniors, working with families to address ever growing opioid and heroin dependency, and expanding the town’s environmental initiatives.
“I think what [voters] have to do is really decide who has the business experience, the civic experience and governmental experience to make the changes necessary to take the town forward,” Edwards said. “We have work to do.”
Edwards will be attending Huntington Awareness Day, Sept. 9 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Stimson Middle School, located at 401 Oakwood Road in Huntington Station
Darryl St. George
St. George was one of the first to announce he would seek election as town supervisor in February, prior to Petrone’s announcement he would not seek re-election. He said he previously contemplated running for town board in 2015.
“The political landscape from February till now has shifted dramatically, what has not shifted is my resolve,” St. George said.
St. George works as a Northport High School teacher, where he is the co-advisor of Northport High School branch of Students Against Destructive Decisions and the advisor of Project Vets, a club that works to improve the lives of veterans once they return home. He previously taught at St. Anthony’s High School in Huntington.
St. George is a U.S. Navy veteran who served a nine-month tour of duty in Afghanistan in 2011. Upon returning home, he served as the president of Greenlawn Civic Association for three years. In that role, St. George said he addressed public safety issues and opioid and heroin addiction.
“I was proud to be in that position,” St. George said. “I felt we were able to grow the civic association and get a lot of young people involved.”
If elected supervisor, St. George said he would focus on improving public safety by addressing in addition to opioid addiction, gang issues, protection of the environment and democratic reform to make town government more accessible for people to become involved.
“The real difference between the supervisor and the town board is a supervisor must be a leader,” he said. “A leader should have a vision and be able to communicate that vision clearly, build consensus on the town board and in the community so the vision can be translated into action. I have a track record of doing that as a teacher, as a veteran who served in the U.S. Navy, as a civic leader and as an activist.”
St. George will be holding a fundraising event Sept. 9 at 6:45 p.m. at the Conklin Brush Barn, located at 2 High Street in Huntington.
Polls will be open for primaries Sept. 12 from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Huntington Town residents are eligible to vote in the supervisor race if you are a registered Democrat, at least 18 years old, have lived at your current address at least 30 days before the election, and have not been in prison or on parole for a felony conviction.
To double check if you are registered to vote, visit the state’s website at voterlookup.elections.state.ny.us/votersearch.aspx.