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Naples Thanks Staff, Republicans Form Search Committee to Find Comptroller Candidate

By Mark Scott

Buffalo, NY – Erie County Comptroller Nancy Naples thanked dozens of staffers and supporters during an afternoon news conference Tuesday on the steps of the Rath Building. She confirmed she would not seek re-election to a fourth term.

The Republican comptroller has come under fire in recent weeks. First, it was revealed that Naples and her husband were late with their property tax payments on their Hamburg home. Then, she was questioned by county legislators in a contentious session last week about the county's borrowing practices. But Naples said that had nothing to do with her decision to leave the comptroller's office. She said it dates back to one year ago when she decided to run for Congress in the 27th district.

"When I announced that I was a candidate for Congress, in my mind I effectively decided that I would not seek another term as county comptroller," Naples said.

Naples frequently clashed with fellow Republican Joel Giambra. In citing her accomplishments, she mentioned her part in uncovering the office furniture and highway department scandals last year. But Naples did not directly attack the county executive Tuesday. Earlier in the day, Giambra wished her well

"There comes a time in all of our lives when it's time to move on," Giambra said. "I guess the Comptroller has decided it's time for her to move on. I wish her well in whatever career path she chooses."

Erie County Republican Party Chairman Robert Davis says he was surprised but not shocked by Naples decision. He said the party will be forming a search committee to find a candidate to succeed her.

"We're not going to rush into this. We're going to take our time. We're going to find a candidate, male or female, who has the resume that will best fit the job of comptroller and chief fiscal officer of Erie County," Davis said. "I think it's very important that we run someone who is capable of doing the job, especially in light of the difficult times the county is going through."

Republicans have held the county comptroller's office since 1975.

As for Nancy Naples, she says she'll entertain any job offers that come her way from the public or private sectors.