Southampton Town Councilman Chris Nuzzi was officially nominated by the Suffolk County Republican Party on Tuesday night to be the party’s candidate for the Suffolk County Legislature seat currently held by Legislator Jay Schneiderman.
And with just a week to go before the GOP will nominate a candidate to seek Mr. Nuzzi’s current seat, his colleague on the Town Board, Councilman Jim Malone, announced on Wednesday morning that he will not seek reelection to a second term.
Mr. Malone said he has held off making the announcement until such a late date because he was awaiting word on another endeavor.
“I will be a candidate—but it will be a candidate for a master’s degree,” Mr. Malone said on Wednesday morning. “I found out this week, and I’m very delighted to learn that I’ve been accepted to business school in Manhattan.”
Mr. Malone would not say which school he had been accepted to but said he would be enrolling in an executive master’s degree program for public administration, economics and finance.
Mr. Malone was elected to the Town Board in 2009 after initially being nominated as the Republican Party’s candidate for supervisor, over incumbent Linda Kabot. He later accepted the nomination for Town Board instead.
Mr. Malone is a Conservative Party member and leader of the party’s Southampton Town committee, and was endorsed by the Town Republicans. He said that the Conservative Party will hold its screenings on Wednesday night, May 15, for its endorsements of candidates for the East Hampton and Southampton town board and supervisor races.
The Southampton Town Republican Party has completed its screening process, according to GOP Chairman William Wright, and will hold its nominating convention next Tuesday, May 21, at Villa Toscano restaurant in Hampton Bays. The party has screened at least four potential candidates for the two Town Board seats on the ballot, and two candidates for the supervisor’s seat, former Supervisor Linda Kabot and Jim Sanford.
The Town Democratic Party is still holding screenings. Deputy Supervisor Francis Zappone confirmed this week that he intends to seek a nomination from the Democrats for the Town Board race, joining presumed nominee Brad Bender, who narrowly lost the race for a council seat in 2011. Mr. Zappone said he has not yet screened with the committee but expects to soon.
“I have expressed interest to the Democrats,” Mr. Zappone said. “For me, there are two things. This is what I’ve been doing for four years—I’m deeply involved in local government, and it’s good work. And, for me, most importantly, I’m a Southampton guy for over 50 years now. I see this as a great opportunity to give something significant back to the community.”
Mr. Zappone has been the deputy to Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst since she was elected in 2009, though he has declined to be paid the position’s $30,000 annual salary. Ms. Throne-Holst is seeking reelection.
Mr. Nuzzi, meanwhile, now will be able to officially begin his campaign against Mr. Schneiderman. Mr. Nuzzi will complete his second four-year term on the Southampton Town Board at the end of this year and is prevented from seeking reelection by term limits. He announced last month that he would seek the nomination for the legislature race.
Mr. Schneiderman has been a county legislator since 2003. He was initially elected as a Republican, the party under which he had also been elected to two terms as East Hampton Town supervisor, but switched his party affiliation in 2008 to the Independence Party. He is seeking reelection to his sixth term on the board, which would be the last term he is eligible for under county term limits.