Nowick (R-St. James), who is in the last year of her term-limited sixth term in the legislature, said she would run a primary campaign against incumbent councilmen Thomas McCarthy and Kevin Malloy. She said she would formally announce her plans Wednesday night during a fundraiser at Casa Rustica in Smithtown.
Nowick, 66, a former town tax receiver and daughter of late Councilman Eugene Cannataro, said Tuesday she hoped to mend what she said is a "divided" town board.
"When there's divisiveness, things don't get done," she said in an interview. "I think it's imperative that things start moving again. . . . I think that I could be a voice of reason."
The council campaign is the latest intraparty battle among Smithtown Republicans. In addition to the council race, Republican town Supervisor Patrick Vecchio is facing a primary challenge from GOP Councilman Robert Creighton.
Vecchio, McCarthy and Malloy received the party's endorsements at a nominating convention on Monday. Nowick had asked to be considered for a council seat, but her name was not placed into nomination on Monday. Town GOP chairman Bill Ellis said Malloy and McCarthy were picked because they are incumbents.
To run in a September primary, each council candidate must collect at least 500 petition signatures from fellow Republicans. The top two vote-getters would win.
McCarthy, 55, of Nissequogue, who is the town's deputy supervisor, denied that the board is divided, saying members work together despite their differences. "We produce no-tax-increase budgets, or minimal tax increase budgets," McCarthy said. "I'd like to ask her, what do you think is not getting done?"
Malloy, 61, of Smithtown, said Nowick's comments were "unfair" and "a little self-serving. . . . Sure, there are personality conflicts, but it does not affect our business thinking," he said.
Town Democrats, who plan to hold their nominating convention on May 20, have not announced their council candidates.
Nowick said that as a council member she would work on economic development and downtown revitalization, including sewers. She said she is seeking the endorsement of the town conservative committee, which has scheduled its nominating convention for Wednesday night at the Elks Lodge in Smithtown.