GOP executives met at party headquarters in Medford, where they selected Romaine (R-Center Moriches) as the party's candidate.
"This is not a time to leave, but a time to go to work," Romaine said after his nomination. "I'm running for supervisor because I want to bring this town back."
He said the town is in a fiscal crisis. Later, in a news release issued by the town GOP, he added, "Brookhaven needs to be more efficient and cost effective . . . We cannot keep spending, relying on old reserves and new fees to balance the budget. Fee increases and cumbersome regulations have hindered our ability to expand our employment base. As supervisor, I will streamline government, make it more responsive to the needs of our residents, work with the private sector to promote real job growth, and preserve our environment for the next generation."
Jesse Garcia, chairman of the Brookhaven GOP, said the selection was unanimous. He described Romaine, who is in his fourth consecutive term as a county legislator, as "the best choice, the right choice for leadership. A proven tax fighter and someone who knows how to get the job done and spur the local economy."
Lesko said he plans to leave office in mid-September, after crafting a 2013 town budget, which will allow the town to hold the supervisor election on the general election day in November. Each party will hold nominating conventions after Lesko leaves the post.
The party was also expected to screen Brookhaven Tax Receiver Lou Marcoccia, a Republican, and Lesko's chief of staff Brian Beedenbender, a Democrat, whose party executive committee recommended for the nomination last week.
"I look forward to a very good campaign," Beedenbender said. "He's a pro. The people of Brookhaven are going to see a very good campaign."