George Demos, GOP primary candidate for U.S. Congressman - New...

George Demos, GOP primary candidate for U.S. Congressman - New York 1st Congressional District. (March 30, 2012) Credit: James Escher

George Demos announced Friday he had dropped out of a primary contest against Randy Altschuler for the Republican nomination to run in Suffolk County's 1st Congressional District.

Demos told supporters in an email that he needed to put his upcoming wedding ahead of his electoral ambitions. "I am going to set aside my political aspirations for a while so that I can focus on our family," Demos wrote. "Both Chrysa [Tsakopoulos] and I look forward to reentering the political debate in the near future and to fighting for the Conservative Republican values we share."

He declined to comment further.

Demos' withdrawal ends a primary fight that had turned nasty. Last week Altschuler's camp called Demos a "fraudulent conservative" who was going to "marry into a family of wealthy, out-of-state liberals." Demos' campaign responded by calling Altschuler a "loser" who outsourced jobs to India.

Altschuler wished Demos and his fiancee well in a statement and attacked his Democratic opponent, Rep. Tim Bishop (D-Southampton), and President Barack Obama.

"While George and I have competed fiercely at times for the Republican nomination . . . we share a common goal -- and that is defeating Obama rubberstamp, incumbent Congressman Tim Bishop, and bringing an end to his job-killing agenda that has badly hurt the people of Suffolk County," Altschuler said.

State and county Republican party officials said they were surprised but pleased with Demos' announcement. "I consistently told George that Randy was very popular with the committee and had overwhelming support, and this was going nowhere," said Suffolk GOP chairman John Jay LaValle.

Democrats also welcomed Demos' withdrawal. "This will give us more time to focus on outsourcer Randy Altschuler and his terrible record on the economy -- sending jobs out of the country when we need them here," said Suffolk Democratic chairman Richard Schaffer.

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