And then there were two.
Hours before the Suffolk County Republican Committee's nominating convention to decide a candidate for county executive, St. James businessman and 2010 Congressional candidate Randy Altschuler announced that he would not seek the county executive nomination and instead focus his energy on a 2012 rematch for New York's First Congressional District.
The Republicans are holding their nominating convention Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the Hauppauge Sheraton. The two remaining candidates who screened with the GOP on May 13 are Suffolk County Treasurer Angie Carpenter and Assemblyman Michael Fitzpatrick, R- St. James.
“The truth is that after falling just short last year, my intent had always been to seek a rematch with Congressman Bishop in 2012 and in the coming days I will file papers making that run official," said Altschuler, through a prepared statement. "I am eager to contrast my record as a successful entrepreneur and small businessman who knows how to create jobs versus Congressman Bishop's record as a tax, spend and borrow politician who has run our economy into the ground."
Altschuler had previously thrown his hat in the ring for county executive after state Sen. John Flanagan, R-Northport, announced at the end of April he would not seek the Republican nomination. Altschuler screened with the GOP and Conservative Parties in previous weeks.
GOP Chairman John Jay LaValle said he supported Altschuler’s decision to go up against Bishop again. Altschuler lost to Bishop by fewer than 600 votes in 2010.
“Against great odds and several primary opponents, Randy came within a handful of votes of knocking off an entrenched Democrat congressman,” LaValle said. “While initially skeptical of his ability to succeed, I have come to appreciate Randy’s enthusiasm, intellect and dedication to this party’s principles and ideals.”