A war of words over pictures has broken out in Huntington, as the race to fill a Suffolk County legislative seat gets hotter.
At the center of the argument is a quote from Elizabeth Black, a Republican who is running for the 18th Legislative District job. The seat will become empty as incumbent Majority Leader Jon Cooper is term-limited. She is running against Dr. William Spencer, a Democrat.
When i in February, Black was asked what serving as a Huntington school board trustee had been like. She replied, “Many things have come before us. Obviously we don’t always agree; you’ve got to do what you think is best. The health and safety and fine education of the children are our goals. We’re all doing that. And we’re upholding the laws of the Constitution.
"When you run for a position like that, you know it isn’t going to be easy. It’s not going to be all cupcakes and lollipops.”
In criticizing her votes on the school board to raise taxes, Suffolk County Democrats seized on the cupcake and lollipops quote, sending out a mailer that shows a photo of Black appearing to pop out of a cupcake and noting her quote to Patch. “If Elizabeth Black’s tax increases weren’t enough, her out-of-control spending the school board takes the cake," the mailer reads. And in a letter sent to Black this week, Suffolk County Democratic chairman Rich Schaffer accused Black of trying to distract voters.
But the imagery of Black and the cupcake was too much for several Huntington residents.
The group, including Black’s sister-in-law, Bronwyn Kelly, wrote an open letter, signed by 40 women, to Spencer, saying, “This is demeaning, disgusting and disrespectful not only to Elizabeth, but to all women. This offensive imagery and language has no place in our society and we expect better, especially from one who seeks to represent us in our government, let alone a doctor who vowed to “Do No Harm”. Further, it is distressing that the New York State Democratic Committee approved and published this sexist literature."