Nassau County Legis. Wayne Wink dropped out of the Democratic primary for county comptroller Tuesday, throwing his support behind former comptroller Howard Weitzman.
Weitzman, a Democrat from North Hills, will challenge Republican Comptroller George Maragos in November. Maragos defeated Weitzman by 644 votes in 2009. Wink (R-Roslyn), who had the support of the Democratic party leadership, said he wanted to avoid a costly and divisive primary.
"Democrats need to unify around a single ticket so that five-and-a-half months from now, we will be in the strongest possible position to move forward," Wink said at a news conference in Mineola.
Wink's departure from the race sets up a potential rematch of the 2009 General Election, when County Executive Thomas Suozzi and Weitzman were ousted by Republican Edward Mangano, now the county executive, and Maragos.
Suozzi faces a Democratic primary for county executive in September from East Hills businessman Adam Haber.
Wink, a practicing attorney who has served in the county legislature since 2007, was redistricted out of his seat by Nassau Republicans in March. Suozzi said he would consider appointing Wink to a role in his administration if he is elected in November.
While Wink had the party's support, Weitzman, a certified public accountant who served as county comptroller from 2001 to 2009, recently received endorsements from three major labor groups, including the 1199 Service Employees International Union.
Speaking of the county executive's race, Haber campaign manager Justin Myers said Tuesday that, "over the next few months we will have a robust discussion about the differences between the candidates and Democratic party voters will decide."
Nassau Democratic Party chairman Jay Jacobs said Haber should reconsider for the good of the party.
"My hope is that we end up with unity," said Jacobs.