2021 Elections

Town of Huntington Supervisor Chad Lupinacci was cleared of any wrongdoing in a recent investigation of sexual harassment rumors. File photo by Lina Weingarten

Huntington Town Supervisor Chad Lupinacci (R) released a statement Feb. 26 on his decision not to seek reelection in 2021.

“After much deliberation and consideration with my family, friends and advisers, I have decided not to seek reelection as Huntington Town Supervisor this November. 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.  While this decision is a difficult one, it is made easier by the fact that in less than one term I have delivered on all of my campaign promises and will continue to accomplish the many goals I set out to achieve before this final year is complete.  Few administrations have faced as many challenges, and few have achieved what we have.  I am proud that I will leave the Town of Huntington in a far better place than when I took office, and for that reason I am incredibly optimistic about the future of the Town and its hamlets that I love so much.

“The effort to take the Town in a new direction began roughly four years ago and was inspired by my deep roots in Huntington, which was borne from a small butcher shop operated by my grandfather on New York Avenue in the old Huntington Station.  On the campaign trail, I often recounted the importance of this butcher shop to my family’s history in Huntington and it served as my impetus for revitalizing the Huntington Station area.  My campaign attracted a broad coalition inspired by my community connections, broad platform and commitment to move the Town in a new and better direction.

“In office, I immediately set to work on fulfilling my campaign promises.  In our first month, I fulfilled my promise to make town government more transparent and accountable to its residents by enacting term limits, strengthening our ethics laws and increasing opportunities for constituent feedback.  These measures increased confidence in town government and the democratic process.

“I also pledged to preserve and enhance the wonderful quality of life that makes Huntington a special place to live, work and raise a family.  Every day, we worked to protect the suburban charm of our neighborhoods and historic downtowns, while creating new economic opportunity for this generation and the next.  To provide our children with an even better town than the one we inherited, we committed to smart development, curbed the overdevelopment of Huntington Village, invested in open space and farmland preservation, revitalized our waterfront, and continued the reinvestment in and revitalization of Huntington Station.

“Among so many other accomplishments, I spearheaded the creation of the Town of Huntington Bureau of Administrative Adjudication, the first town court of its kind on Long Island, to efficiently adjudicate violations of the Huntington Town Code; held the line on property taxes with three Tax Cap-compliant budgets; protected the Town’s AAA-bond rating; and made unprecedented investments in our Town parks and facilities.

“While so much was accomplished to date, my time as Supervisor may be defined by two unprecedented challenges, one inherited, and one that no one could have anticipated.

“The decade-long litigation with LIPA over the assessment on the Northport Power Plant posed an existential threat to all homeowners, commercial property owners, and the Northport-East Northport School District.  With settlement negotiations stagnant, a looming court judgment threatened ruin for our beautiful Town.  Under my leadership, the Town negotiated an unprecedented settlement few thought possible.  We eliminated the threat of total financial devastation, including up to $825 million in future tax refund payments to LIPA, which hung over the heads of our residents for over a decade, secured millions of dollars in additional funding for our schools and Town, and protected our residents against unsustainable tax increases.

“The once-in-a-lifetime pandemic came without warning and required quick decision-making and visionary leadership to protect our residents, businesses, front line workers and Town employees.  Our Town developed a comprehensive plan to safely reopen facilities and deliver important services to our residents.  We continued to provide daily meals for our senior citizens.  We adopted countless measures to assist struggling local businesses, including the creation of a small business task force that continues to make recommendations for additional measures.  Our country suffered terribly from this pandemic, and our Town was not spared that pain.  I send my thoughts and prayers to all the victims of this insidious virus as well as their surviving family members.  We will never forget and the first Monday in March has now been designated as “COVID-19 Victims and Survivors Memorial Day” in the Town of Huntington.

“As this phase of my public service career comes to a conclusion, I must thank our outstanding Town workers for everything that they have done to help make the new direction vision a reality.  Public service remains a noble pursuit and our employees fully understand that.

“Our Town remarkedly includes so many people of different backgrounds and we draw our strength from this diversity.  The Town Supervisor must ensure that the voices of all such people are heard and respected.  I am proud to have served as a time when Huntington has come together with a united voice, even as our national discourse tends to divide us.  To this end, over the course of my term, I have encouraged the celebration of our diversity while promoting a vision of a unified Town centered upon our shared values and common humanity as evidenced by initiatives preserving Huntington’s Black history and honoring the lives of Dr. Agnes Hiller, Samuel Ballton, Peter Crippen, and Paul Johnson.

“During my time as Town Supervisor, I have often thought of Jackie Robinson’s famous quote that “a life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.”  This quote motivated me during challenging times and inspired me to do more to help our residents.  Whether one is in the public or private sector, we should remember Mr. Robinson’s wise words and do our best to make our corner of the world a better place.  I am committed to doing just that in the next phase of my life because those values are my inheritance.

“I want to thank everyone for the friendship and support they have given me during my time as Town Supervisor.  It has been an honor and a privilege to serve our Town and its residents and, rest assured, that I will continue approaching each day through the end of my term with the same vigor and passion for public service that I had on the day I was first elected.”

Lupinacci will serve the remainder of his existing term in office.

Rebecca Sanin

The president and CEO of a local nonprofit is ready to make some changes in Huntington if elected in November.

“I care so much about our neighbors, so many of our neighbors, both families and businesses, are struggling with the economic assaults of COVID-19. And I think this is a very unique time in history. We need an executive in the supervisor’s office with a record of innovation.”

— Rebecca Sanin

Earlier this month, the Huntington Town Democratic Committee announced Rebecca Sanin’s run for Town of Huntington supervisor. The 42-year-old, who lives in Huntington Station with her family, has served as the president and CEO of the Health & Welfare Council of Long Island since 2017. Prior to that, she worked with Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone’s (D) administration for more than five years as an assistant deputy county executive.

“I worked on creating an environment of continuous improvement, and I would bring those skill sets to Town Hall to make sure that we’re doing an analysis of what we should be doing, what we can be doing, how we can do things differently, how we can improve public service,” she said. “And, how we can create better access so that every member of our community feels that they can connect with their leaders and departments in the town.”

Sanin added that due to her work in the county and the nonprofit sector she has experience working with different levels of government.

“I think it’s very important that an executive in the Town of Huntington is able to work with the state as it’s recovering from COVID-19 and is able to work with the county, is able to work effectively with the villages,” she said. “These relationships are very important when it comes to making sure that every Huntington resident is effectively served, and I bring that skill set to this candidacy.”

The candidate said with the council she has helped to bring the nonprofit business community together and has helped to lead the sector through the pandemic.

She said for her being in the political arena is all about public service, and at a young age she used to volunteer to serve food in soup kitchens.

When the Huntington school district school board began talks in 2010 to close the Jack Abrams Intermediate School due to crime in the area, Sanin worked with others to try to get the school reopened. She said it was important to the children and families in the community, and she felt there was a way to keep children in the school while residents worked to eliminate neighborhood gang and gun violence.

“It was the Jack Abrams school closing that really birthed in me the importance of advocacy, and the importance of community togetherness and working together with the community too, to make sure that we have the best outcomes we can for families,” she added.

Sanin’s love for the town runs deep.

“I care so much about our neighbors, so many of our neighbors, both families and businesses, are struggling with the economic assaults of COVID-19,” she said. “And I think this is a very unique time in history. We need an executive in the supervisor’s office with a record of innovation.”

She added that the town could be a model to show what it means to put people first and show support for the business community.

“We really need to be creative about how we build our future together,” Sanin said. “One of my greatest strengths is consensus building — bringing people together, helping people to work together toward solutions. You know, I want to take my skill set and my record of leadership and bring it to the town that I love more than any.”

“One of my greatest strengths is consensus building — bringing people together, helping people to work together toward solutions.”

— Rebecca Sanin

When it comes to the pandemic, she said she believes the aftereffects will be felt for years to come.

“It’s a multiyear recession, for sure, and it’s a time in which people who were struggling before COVID are now in crisis, and a whole lot of people who have never struggled in their lives are losing their businesses or losing their livelihoods or losing their jobs,” she said. “We have to be creative and think about the role of the town, and how the town can play a leadership role in catalyzing our recovery.”

Sanin recognizes how unique and diverse Huntington is with its different hamlets, where residents in one area may have different concerns than another part of the town.

“It’s very important that we listen to the community when we decide our priorities,” she said. “An executive shouldn’t come into office and say, ‘This is what we’re going to do.’ We should be listening to the community, we should be responding to the needs of the community — both families and the business community. And I think we have to be doing that with an eye toward innovation, because these are very unique times. And if we don’t innovate — if we aren’t willing to reflect and do the analysis that’s necessary to build a bright future — then we’re going to have significant challenges.”

The candidate said people’s faith in government needs to be restored, and it starts by putting qualified people in as department heads.

Huntington Supervisor Chad Lupinacci (R) has not announced if he will be running again for office in November. There are rumors that Councilman Eugene Cook (R) will run instead, but no official announcement has been made.

Sanin said no matter who runs, she will still be a fresh face in town government. On the same ticket there will be two candidates for council members: Jennifer Hebert of Huntington and Joe Schramm of Northport, who are both running for office for the first time.

“They’re extremely dedicated to making sure that Huntington residents get what they need and deserve,” Sanin said.