NEW CANAAN — Sitting Republican First Selectman Robert Mallozzi III says he will not attempt to force a primary to challenge Kevin Moynihan, who won the GOP nomination by 10 votes at the party’s caucus July 18.

“I will not be seeking a Primary for the Republican endorsement for First Selectman,” Mallozzi said in a statement on Monday. “I am presently hard at work doing the Town’s business and also working on my future plans.”

Challenging candidate Kevin Moynihan received 612 votes to Mallozzi’s 602 at the caucus. Cristina Aguirre-Ross received 60 votes. Because of the slim margin of the caucus, Mallozzi requested that there be a recount.

“This is not about me so much as it is an effort to ensure everyone's good faith in the electoral process,” Mallozzi said, of the his wish for a recount.

According to Chairman of the Republican Town Committee (RTC) Patrick Donovan, however, a recount would not be possible.

“The rules voted on and adopted by the Caucus, state that votes will be recounted ‘In the event that five (5) or fewer votes separate the top two candidates for any office…,’” Donovan said in an email on Monday.

“It is not within the New Canaan Republican Town Committee’s power or authority to undertake a recount of the Caucus results.”

This left Mallozzi with the option to force a primary, which would require the collection of signatures from five percent — 313 signatures — of the town’s registered Republicans by Aug. 9.

But Mallozzi, currently serving his third term as First Selectman, has declined that option.

“I know a primary was going forthcoming had I won on Tuesday. However, I could never subject my family, and our community, to any more of the negative rhetoric and disharmony a protracted election season could bring should I have followed the path set by other candidates,” Mallozzi said, adding, “I am very comfortable with my decision.

Mallozzi thanked all the voters who came to the caucus and gave his best to the candidates endorsed by the party.

Moynihan will face Democrat Kit Devereaux in the general election Nov. 7.

justin.papp@scni.com; @justinjpapp1