In a surprise move, the Southampton Town Republican Committee on Wednesday nominated Councilman Chris Nuzzi to challenge incumbent Anna Throne-Holst for supervisor.
Nuzzi's nomination came after he said he would not seek the supervisor seat, but the committee drafted him anyway.
“It was very nice of the committee,” Nuzzi said after the nominating convention at Villa Tuscano in Hampton Bays. “I appreciate their confidence in me.”
“It was clear he was the best and most experienced candidate,” said Ernest Wruck, the Republican Committee chairman. “He was the top vote-getter in the last election.”
Christine Preston Scalera and Bill Hughes were nominated for the town council race, challenging incumbent Bridget Fleming and to fill the seat being vacated by Republican Nancy Graboski, who is precluded from running for council again due to term limits; Graboski opted not to throw her hat into the ring for supervisor. Wruck said he respected her decision to retire and spend time with her family.
Scalera, a former Brookhaven Town chief deputy attorney, vowed to run a “positive campaign.”
Wruck said the Republican slate is unified; he does not expect a party fractured by primaries, as has been the case in recent years. “This is a new game,” he said. He added that candidates will work together toward victory. “Our goal is a Republican sweep.”
Hughes, a retired Southampton Town Police lieutenant, lost to Fleming in a March 2010 special election to fill Throne-Holst's council seat when she ascended to supervisor after winning the November 2009 election. He said he was “honored and humbled” by his second nomination.
Town Justice Edward Burke, Tax Receiver Theresa Kiernan and Trustees Ed Warner Jr., Eric Shultz, Jon Semlear and Fred Havemeyer all received nominations for re-election. For the fifth trustee seat, the committee nominated Scott Horowitz.
Horowitz, of East Quogue, is a member of the town conservation board and a former part-time bay constable for the trustees. Horowitz was screened for town council last year, but he said he pulled himself out of the running.
The Democrats did not nominate challengers to any of the Republican trustee incumbents at their nominating convention Monday, but they did nominate Trustee Bill Pell, a member of the Independence Party, for re-election.
They also did not nominate challengers to Burke and Kiernan.
Next steps involve candidates seeking signatures on petitions to file with the Suffolk County Board of Elections.