Smithtown Dems choose candidates for town board


Smithtown Democrats have picked a former county judge along with a longtime party activist to run for town board in November.

Adam Halpern, a prosecutor in Suffolk County's Traffic and Parking Violations Agency and a former 4th District County Court judge, and activist Richard Macellaro, a retired home health care administrator, have been named to challenge Republican councilmen Kevin Malloy and Thomas McCarthy.

Halpern, 53, of Hauppauge, and Macellaro, 60, of Kings Park, were endorsed by the town Democratic committee at its nominating convention on Monday at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 25 hall in Hauppauge.

The committee also formally endorsed Steven E. Snair, 31, a Nesconset foreclosure attorney, to run for town supervisor. Republican Supervisor Patrick Vecchio, 82, of Fort Salonga, is facing a primary challenge from GOP Councilman Robert Creighton, 75, of Kings Park. Vecchio won the GOP endorsement last week, while Creighton landed town Conservative committee support.

Malloy and McCarthy face a possible primary contest with county Legis. Lynne C. Nowick (R-St. James), who is leaving her post due to term limits.

Snair, Halpern and Macellero will be joined on the Democratic ticket by town clerk candidate Ed Haeffer, 43, of Smithtown, a Realtor and former Golden Gloves boxer. Haeffer is opposing Town Clerk Vincent Puleo, a Conservative endorsed last week by the town Republican committee.

"I'm very excited about this slate," said town Democratic chairman Ed Maher. "I think we're presenting the people of Smithtown with a choice."

Democrats last held a town post in Smithtown in 2009, when Councilwoman Patricia Biancaniello's term expired after she lost in an attempt to unseat Vecchio.

The Democratic committee did not name a candidate to oppose Republican Highway Superintendent Glenn Jorgensen. Maher said he hopes to recruit an opponent for Jorgensen, who faced criticism from residents following February's snowstorm. "We plan to offer a full slate," Maher said.

The county Democratic Party, which also met Monday, did not endorse a candidate for Nowick's seat. Smithtown businessman Gary Jacobs plans to challenge Legis. John M. Kennedy (R-Nesconset), the legislature's minority leader.