Huntington Town Board candidate Gene Cook has been reinstated to the Republican line for the Sept. 13 GOP primary election.
In a 5-0 appellate decision, the state Supreme Court reversed an this month by the John J.J. Jones, Jr. which ordered Cook removed from the Republican ticket.
Jones ruled Cook was not properly authorized to run as a Republican by a June 6. The decision came after a five-day trial brought on by a challenge from Huntington Republican Vivienne Wong.
The appeals court ruled there was no evidence to warrant the June 6 GOP meeting was not conducted properly.
David Reilly, the attorney for the Huntington Republican Town Committee and vice president of the local party, said he was overjoyed about the decision and of the will of the Republican town committee to have Cook as their Republican candidate for the Town Board.
Today's ruling “found that the Wilson Pikula was duly authorized at the meeting and that Gene Cook should be placed on the ballot,” said Reilly.
Reilly said he received a call suggesting that Town Board members Glenda Jackson and Susan Berland, Democrats who are seeking re-election, had gotten involved in the internal affairs of the Huntington Republican Committee. The caller, he said, had called them the "puppeteers behind the puppet.”
Berland denied Reilly's claim.
"Vivienne Wong had a dispute with her own party about whether it complied with its own rules and they had taken steps to knock her off the ballot," said Berland. "This has nothing to do with the Democrats. This is an internecine dispute among the Republicans. Trying to draw Democrats into it is absurd."
Cook will now run on the Independence, Conservative and Republican lines.
Jackson did not return a message left at the Huntington Town Hall.