HOLTSVILLE - After a two-hour meeting at party headquarters in Holtsville today, Suffolk Republican leaders were unable to agree on a candidate to replace County Executive Steve Levy.

None of the leading contenders, including County Treasurer Angie Carpenter, State Assemblyman Mike Fitzpatrick and Commissioner of Jurors Mike O'Donohoe, have generated widespread support.

Longtime Newsday political columnist Rick Brand says GOP leaders may be hoping for a last-minute outsider such as former U.S. Rep. Rick Lazio, who unsuccessfully ran for the U.S. Senate in 2000 and for the post of New York governor last year.

"The real question is, can they entice him to run and is there enough time to raise the money?" Brand says.

Suffolk Republican Party Chairman John Jay LaValle says some leaders are anxious to hear from Lazio.

"He has never indicated whether he's absolutely in or absolutely out," he says.

LaValle says party leaders want to meet again next week with the candidates before a final decision is made.

Democrats have already united behind Babylon Town Supervisor Steve Bellone as their candidate for county executive.