After a dramatic turn of events at the Southampton Town Republican nominating convention last week, when , stunned elected officials and residents have been abuzz with speculation.
Nuzzi, after hearing the news Wednesday, left the convention immediately and neither accepted nor declined the nomination; just days earlier, he had said publicly that he would not to try wrest the supervisor's seat from incumbent Anna Throne-Holst, an Independent with the Democratic Committee nomination.
Republican Committee Chairman Ernest Wruck said Nuzzi had known about the nomination before the convention.
But when asked whether he was surprised to be nominated, Nuzzi said on Friday, “I guess I would characterize it by saying what I said that night: It was very flattering, and I really do appreciate their confidence. Their nomination reflects their desire for me to reconsider my decision not to run. I’m going to take the next several days to do that.”
Nuzzi added if he decides to run, he will be “100 percent into it” and will “run for the right reasons.”
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 campaign kickoff event for Throne-Holst on Friday, Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. said that in the last election he supported Nuzzi for town council and Throne-Holst for supervisor. This time, he said, "I am in support of Chris Nuzzi remaining on the town council and I support Anna Throne-Holst for supervisor. And she actually wants the job.”
At the fundraiser, some said Nuzzi had declined the nomination that evening. “I just heard I don’t have an opponent,” Throne-Holst said.
But Friday night, Nuzzi refuted the rumor, saying he had not made any decision and was still taking time to reconsider his position.
Throne-Holst 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. “I think he was clear in not seeking the position of his own accord.”
Nuzzi said that “irrespective of the decision” he makes, there are directions the town needs to go in, reflecting priorities such as “holding the line on taxes and continuing to create opportunities for the right type of economic development.” He added, “Regardless of the decision I make for supervisor, I take seriously my commitment to the community and to call out some of the problems other board members aren’t dealing with effectively.”