The Ambro Endorsement: The Kiss of Death?

David Ambro, the pontificating Managing Editor of The Smithtown News, has found himself in a quandary.  Whereas once politicians sought him out for endorsements, today, aspiring elected officials have started seeking a nod elsewhere.

Ambro, known for his verbose articles, is in the midst of a historically bad stretch of choosing the winner of any local election.  His streak extends back at least half a decade to when Town Supervisor Patrick Vecchio was still in office.

Although known for his liberal leanings, Dave Ambro infamously endorsed Republican Vecchio against Councilman Ed Wehrheim for the Smithtown Supervisor’s 2017 primary race.  Town Republicans used Ambro’s endorsement as evidence to paint Vecchio as a liberal in the conservative-leaning town.

Whether true or not, Wehrheim eked out a win and is still successfully serving as Supervisor today.

The next major candidate tanked by “The Ambro Endorsement” was 23-year-old Dylan Rice in a challenge to Assemblyman Mike Fitzpatrick. At the time, Ambro made it known Fitzpatrick was a stand-up gentleman, well-liked by both Republicans and Democrats. Yet Ambro bizarrely supported Rice, the unknown recent graduate from the Fashion Institute of Technology.  Fitzpatrick won with a resounding landslide.

“The Ambro Endorsement” went to the fresh-faced Rice because, as Ambro stated, Fitzpatrick was a member of the minority party and couldn’t bring home the bacon for Smithtown.  Yet, only two years earlier, Ambro at The Smithtown News endorsed unknown Peter Magistrale against Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, the number two ranked elected official in the state. Flanagan won by a 25+ point margin and delivered the sorely needed funds to begin revitalizing our town.

During last year’s election, Ambro had to really reach to find a reason to endorse Mike Siderakis over Mario Mattera, the universally liked candidate with a fondness for helping others in need.  During the pandemic, Mattera devoted nearly all his time raising funds and scraping together tens of thousands of masks and gowns for local hospitals and nursing homes.

Yet Ambro spun a malicious web of borderline slanderous lies in his editorial pages with wild accusations about the now-Senator.

Most recently, Ambro curiously decided to devote several issues of The Smithtown News to discrediting three challengers to the Smithtown Central School District’s Board of Education.  He repeated mistruths and comments from the rumor mill as if they were actual facts.  He could barely disguise his disdain, using words like “radical extremists” to describe the group of concerned parents. Again, the candidates used “The Ambro Endorsement” to their advantage, pointing out that anyone endorsed by Ambro cannot possibly be good for Smithtown.

A virtual Democrat operative, Dave Ambro is mired in a years-long battle with not only the Smithtown Republicans, but his own comrades, the Smithtown Democrats.  His endorsements are now so cancerous that it remains to be seen if any politician of either party will even sit down with him this year.

He has put himself in the corner, and no one wants to join him in the time out.

That is the message. This is the Messenger.

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The Messenger Papers Editorial Board aspires to represent a fair cross section of our Suffolk County readers. We work to present a moderate view on issues facing Long Island families and businesses.