By NATHAN BROWN,
Adirondack Daily Enterprise
A Guilderland town board member and two-time Congress candidate with an Albany law practice is considering seeking the Libertarian and Republican nominations for governor.
Warren Redlich said Tuesday that he had originally considered running for attorney general as a Libertarian, given his legal background and experience. However, he said, some friends of his in the Libertarian Party suggested he run for governor, and former party chairman and current committee member Eric Sundwall has created a Facebook page, “Warren Redlich for New York Governor,” that had attracted 127 members as of Tuesday afternoon.
Redlich said he would probably decide by the end of the month whether to run, but he has already been thinking about what he would do as governor. He has made a list of 13 state agencies he would eliminate, resulting in a savings of about $5 billion, he said, the largest being the Empire State Development Corporation, which, he said, could save $2.5 billion yearly if axed. Another is the Division of Tax Appeals, which was created in the mid-1980s.
“Somehow we managed 200 years without it,” Redlich said.
The party’s candidates will be chosen at a party convention in Albany on April 24, Sundwall said. Sundwall said nobody else, to his knowledge, has expressed interest in running for governor on the Libertarian line.
If the Libertarian Party chooses Redlich for governor, he would need 15,000 signatures to get on the ballot, including 100 from each of New York’s 29 congressional districts. The party has run a candidate in every gubernatorial election since 1974, except for 1986. Their candidate in 2006, John Clifton, got 15,068 votes, three times as many as Scott Jeffrey in 2002 but a tiny fraction of the more than 3 million votes cast.
On the Democratic side, Andrew Cuomo has widely been assumed as the frontrunner for governor, although he hasn’t made any announcement. Gov. David Paterson is seeking election to a full term, and Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy has said he is considering running.
As for the Republicans, former U.S. Rep. Rick Lazio has said he will run, and while Erie County Executive Chris Collins hasn’t, 15 county GOP chairs have signed a letter asking him to run. Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, once considered a candidate, has endorsed Lazio.
Redlich is a registered Republican. He ran for Congress in 2004 and 2006 as the Republican candidate in New York’s 21st District, where he lives, both times losing heavily to then-incumbent Michael McNulty in the majority Democratic Capital Region district.
A number of county GOP chairs have already endorsed Lazio, and Redlich said he doesn’t expect to get the chairs’ support. He said the only way to get the Republican nod would be in a primary.
“I’m not hesitant to call myself a long-shot candidate,” Redlich said.
Redlich said he has already been talking to people involved in the anti-government-spending Tea Party movement and the Campaign for Liberty, a group founded by Texas congressman and former U.S. presidential candidate Ron Paul. Redlich said he thinks he could have a chance if Collins and Lazio split the more mainstream Republican vote in a primary.
“I think there’s a chance people will recognize, ‘Here’s the guy who’s actually talking about the stuff we care about,'” Redlich said.
Redlich was critical of both Lazio and Collins, saying they were both supporters of “corporate welfare” and wouldn’t make the spending cuts needed in this tough economy. He was especially critical of Lazio’s ties to Wall Street, including campaign contributions from numerous Wall Street figures, and Lazio’s work for JPMorgan Chase &?Co.
Redlich’s law firm focuses on various types of litigation in the Capital Region, including driving while intoxicated, traffic tickets, personal injury, election law, criminal defense, real estate and zoning. He also founded town-court.com – a directory of traffic courts in 28 states and Washington, D.C. that generates almost $100,000 a year in advertising revenue, Redlich said.