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Crowded field for Huntington Town Board seats Part II

Arlene Gross
Times Beacon record - northshoreoflongisland.com
Huntington Town Board Candidates Barrett, Dujmic and Nitkewicz

Part II of a two-part story on the many contenders for Huntington Town Board.

With two seats up for grabs on the Huntington Town Board, and incumbents Democrat Mark Cuthbertson and Republican Mark Mayoka running again, many hopefuls have stepped into the spotlight, seeking the nod from the two major parties.

Keith Barrett

As president of the Huntington Station BID, Barrett credits his organization with helping beautify the area and make it safer, by providing 42 state-of-the-art security cameras, supporting ShotSpotter gun detection technology, cooperating with the police and continually bolstering community initiatives like the Huntington Station Awareness Day each fall.

The owner of an automotive repair shop in Huntington Station, the community where he grew up, Barrett said, "I've been in business for 16 years in Huntington Station, and I think the BID has brought Huntington Station a long way and I'd like to help it make it come a little bit further."

"I want to make Huntington Station a destination, not a drive through," he said, having a ripple effect to the rest of the town.

Barrett, 57, and his wife, Judy, live in Melville and have three sons, 38, 33 and 29.

Joe Dujmic

Attorney Joe Dujmic of Huntington Station ran last November for the New York State Assembly seat vacated by the ailing Assemblyman Jim Conte and is screening for the Huntington Town Board for many of the same reasons that he ran for the state seat.

"The individuals in the community need a strong vocal representative, especially at the local level," he said.

Though the issues are slightly different, Dujmic maintains that in many ways they are the same, namely, people want low taxes while their services are kept intact.

While he praised the current Democratic leadership, Dujmic said he believes the next councilperson should be from Huntington Station.

"How Huntington Station goes so will go the rest of Huntington," he said, adding that the rejuvenation of that area should be a top priority.

Dujmic, 32, and wife Antoinette are raising her 8-year-old son.

Patricia Flynn

A 25-year committee person for the Huntington Democrats, Flynn said she "is in a wait-and-see pattern, until they figure out who they're going to nominate."

An assistant town attorney since 2006, Flynn said she tried for the post of town attorney and lost when former town attorney John Leo vacated the spot when he was elected as a state Supreme Court justice in November.

"I'd like to make a difference. I've been here for a long time and I have a limited role here," she said. "I'm a viable candidate. I'm super qualified, but we'll have to see how it plays out. Who knows?"

Flynn and her husband, Bob, have lived in Northport since 1982. They have two daughters, 24 and 20, and a 22-year-old son.

Ed Nitkewicz

Having served the last four years on the South Huntington school board, Nitkewicz said he has been part of a successful plan to navigate the economic situation.

As the father of an autistic son, Nitkewicz said he is proud to have created local soccer, baseball and religious programs for children with special needs.

Praising the successes of town government under the Democratic leadership of Supervisor Frank Petrone, Councilwoman Susan Berland and Councilman Mark Cuthbertson, Nitkewicz said he would like to continue the work they've done: keeping the town on solid financial standing, balancing affordable housing, maintaining its residential character and developing the downtown area.

"So as far as leadership is concerned, the ability to articulate a vision and direction for an organization, I have experience," he said.

An attorney, Nitkewicz, 48, and his wife, Rosemary, live in Melville with their 14-year-old son.

Michele Martines did not return repeated calls for an interview.

(editor note)... Since this article was published, Kathleen Casey, Joe Dujmik and Michele Martines have withdrawn.