Nuzzi to challenge Schneiderman for seat
Southampton Town Councilman Christopher R. Nuzzi plans to challenge incumbent Suffolk Legis. Jay H. Schneiderman for his seat, opening up the town supervisor's race for a potential third battle between Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst and former Supervisor Linda Kabot.
Nuzzi screened in front of the Southampton Republican Committee last week for the county legislative post.
Because of a term limit as a councilman, Nuzzi had considered a run for supervisor against Throne-Holst, of the Independence Party.
Nuzzi, a Westhampton Beach Republican, said he wants to deal with the county's financial issues, put more money toward environmental preservation and use the county seat as a "bully pulpit" against mandates from the state and federal governments.
"On a personal level, I like Jay," he said. "That doesn't mean he's doing the job that's necessary for residents."
Schneiderman, an Independence Party member from Montauk who caucuses with Democrats, said he wants to serve a sixth and final term under term limits to see through projects such as road widening on the East End and to continue protecting open space.
He criticized Nuzzi's plan to keep his private-sector job with a title company.
"This job, to me, is a full-time job," Schneiderman said of his legislative seat. "It's more than a full-time job. This district deserves a full-time legislator."
Nuzzi said having a job outside of government is a good thing and he's always devoted ample time to his elected post.
With Nuzzi going for the county seat, that leaves two GOP candidates who screened last month for supervisor -- Kabot and businessman James Sanford, of Sag Harbor, who is making his first bid for office.
Kabot said her two losses to Throne-Holst were tainted. In 2009, as the incumbent supervisor, she was arrested for allegedly driving under the influence weeks before the election. After the election, a jury acquitted her. In 2011, she ran a write-in campaign against Throne-Holst after Republicans failed to field a candidate on the ballot. She received more than one-third of the votes.
"I don't consider myself a loser," she said. "I consider myself a winner."
Sanford, who bought his house in Sag Harbor in 2005 and made that his primary residence in 2010, said he wanted to get involved in local politics after the last presidential election, with the goal of limiting the growth of government. Sanford, 44, who worked on Wall Street, owns an investment advisory service.