Southampton Town Councilman Chris Nuzzi has decided to refuse the for the town supervisor’s seat.
Southampton Town Republican Committee Chairman Ernest Wruck announced the news Monday afternoon.
In a surprise move last month, the GOP nominated Nuzzi to challenge incumbent , an Independent with the Democratic Committee nomination, for supervisor. But Wruck said Monday that while Nuzzi declined, he continued to believe the councilman was “the best choice for the people of Southampton.”
Wruck said he is “confident that the remaining Republican ticket will move forward to offer the residents of Southampton a clear choice against higher spending and taxing, which are job killers for the town.”
Wruck said the GOP will be contacting possible supervisor candidates, including several nonpolitical community leaders. In addition, Wruck said legal options will be reviewed regarding the selection of a new candidate. He declined further comment.
Wruck added that any resident with a sincere interest in running for supervisor on the Republican line should contact any Republican representative.
Nuzzi's nomination came after he said he would not seek the supervisor seat; the committee drafted him anyway. Immediately after hearing the news, Nuzzi left the GOP nominating convention neither accepting nor declining the nomination; just days earlier, he had said publicly that he would not to try wrest the supervisor's seat from Throne-Holst.
"I certainly respect and understand his decision," Throne-Holst said Monday. "He made it very clear, with four small children, that he had family priorities at this time. As a mother who has raised three sons, I totally respect his prioritizing his young children at this stage in their lives. I look forward to our working productively together over the coming years."
Wruck rejected speculation that Nuzzi was nominated as a placeholder until a candidate could be found.
“If we wanted a placeholder we could have put in any name,” Wruck said. “We picked the best and most qualified candidate to win in the fall.
At a recent campaign kickoff event for Throne-Holst, elected officials referenced Nuzzi's unwillingness as a candidate. Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. said he supported Nuzzi to remain on the town board and Throne-Holst for supervisor. “And she actually wants the job,” he said.
Throne-Holst has said the GOP “hoodwinked their own representative.”
“What kind of management and leadership is it when you strong arm someone into a job he is clearly saying he doesn’t want?” she said.