Samuel Wilson writes at The Think3 Institute:
Three Choices for NY Conservatives
The New York gubernatorial race is getting more interesting on the right. As expected, Conservative party leaders endorsed Rick Lazio this weekend, but their verdict doesn’t guarantee him Row D this November. He doesn’t become the party’s official nominee until its convention takes place in June. At that time he will most likely face two challengers: Steve Levy, the Suffolk County executive who defected from the Democratic party this past week and is also seeking the Republican nomination, and Carl Paladino, a Buffalo businessman who considers himself the true conservative of the three. He made his case in a YouTube video:
As far as social issues go, Paladino has the credentials. Both Lazio and Levy are pro-choice, by comparison. But it looks like Conservatives statewide aren’t as hardcore as those in the state’s 23rd Congressional district, who rebelled against a “too liberal” Republican anointee a few months ago. The majority of party leaders may envision a “big tent” approach that focuses narrowly on fiscal issues, though how the rank and file will respond to Lazio remains to be seen. There seems to be a perception among both Conservatives and Republicans that he’s a “loser” due to his poor performance on short notice against Hillary Clinton in the 2000 Senate race. But if the only alternatives are a renegade Democrat and an untried businessman, Lazio may be the safe choice for both parties on the right.
Lazio himself is determined to run the race to the finish. He’s said most recently that he will keep the Conservative line even if he loses the Republican nomination, threatening rightists with their nightmare scenario of a divided movement against a united Democracy. Lazio may well depend on that threat to cow Republicans into endorsing him. As nearly every news article reminds us, since the founding of the Conservative party no Republican has won statewide office without also getting the third party’s endorsement. Of course, some Republicans have lost in spite of that endorsement, so no one should assume that transpartisan agreement guarantees victory for the rightists. Nor should anyone assume at this fluid moment in grass-roots politics that the “right” is as uniform as either Republicans or Conservatives want it to be. Voters who see themselves as “right” may be deciding now that fellow “rightists” are part of the problem rather than part of the solution. Things will get really interesting if, instead of deciding that those problem people weren’t really “right,” people begin to realize that accepting the “right” (or “left”) label has burdened them with problems all along.
Note: For what it’s worth, I found it impossible to access the Lazio campaign site today. Whether this is due to high traffic, ordinary techinical difficulties or sabotage is impossible to know right now.
Meanwhile, on the subject of Paladino, Richard Winger reports at Ballot Access News:
Third Prominent New York Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Likely to Also Create a “Tea Party” Line on Ballot
Carl P. Paladino is a New York Republican who has virtually announced that he is running for Governor this year. He seems to have little support at the Republican Party upcoming state endorsements convention, so he will need to collect 15,000 signatures of registered Republicans to get on the primary ballot. The other two prominent Republicans running for Governor, Rick Lazio and Steve Levy, do have substantial support at the state convention, so they may not need to circulate any primary petitions to be on the primary ballot.
Paladino also says that he will circulate general election petitions under the “Tea Party” label. See this article. The article does not make it clear if Paladino will create the Tea Party line even if he doesn’t get the Republican nomination.
The possibility of the New York Tea Party becoming a political party with a line on the ballot was previously covered by IPR here. Similar moves have been made or contemplated by Tea Parties in Connecticut, Nevada, and Florida. In Nevada and Florida, some Tea Party activists (especially those associated with the Republican Party in both states, and in the case of Nevada, also the Independent American (Constitution) Party), have alleged that these efforts are cynical ploys by Democratic Party operatives, while others have said that that they are authentic Tea Party efforts.
Meanwhile, Warren Redlich, a Ron Paul Republican and local elected official in the Albany area who is running for the Republican and Libertarian nominations, previously said on his webpage that he is “for now at least, the only viable Tea Party candidate for Governor in New York.” A quick glance at http://wredlich.com/ny/ did not find that post to be up any longer, but references to Tea Party themes are still there.
Along with Redlich, Kristin Davis may also be seeking the Libertarian Party nomination. Ballot Access News reports that Davis will attend the New York Libertarian Party convention in Albany on April 23-24, and says she has not yet decided whether she will run as a Personal Freedom Party candidate or a Libertarian. Previous stories stated that she had settled on the Personal Freedom Label, while earlier stories said she would run as an independent and, before that, as a Libertarian. Currently, her website describes her as a Feminist Gubernatorial Candidate and as a Personal Freedom Party candidate. A quick glance at KristinDavis2010.com did not find any references to the Libertarian Party, and references to Davis as an independent candidate which were on the website at least as recently as March 15 appear to have been removed.
Ian and Kimberly Wilder have reported that on the Green Party side, “The Convention is May 15th, so there is no decision yet about who is running.
Sander Hicks, Jeff Peress, and Bob Gumbs have announced their intentions to seek the Senate nominations. There is talk about Howie Hawkins or Cecile Lawrence for Governor.”
Political parties in New York have to gather 50,000 votes in the Gubernatorial race to retain their ballot line for the next election. Alternatively, they have to gather 15,000 state-validated signatures within a specified timeframe to qualify for the ballot in each election.
In another post at Ballot Access News, Richard Winger writes:
Siena Research Poll Samples New York Gubernatorial Election, Includes Libertarian Warren Redlich
Siena Research recently did a poll of the New York gubernatorial election, and included three candidates, Democrat Andrew Cuomo, Republican Rick Lazio, and Libertarian Warren Redlich. The results: Cuomo 59%, Lazio 21%, Redlich 3%, undecided or others 17%. See here.
Lazio is not certain to be the Republican nominee, and Redlich is not certain to be the Libertarian nominee. Steve Levy is also attempting to be the Republican nominee, and Kristin Davis is also attempting to be the Libertarian nominee. However, Siena Research also has a Republican primary poll, which shows that Lazio is very likely to be the Republican nominee.
The actual election will include more than three candidates. In all likelihood, the ballot will include a Green Party nominee, a Socialist Workers Party nominee, and perhaps if Kristin Davis does not get the nomination, she may run under the “Personal Freedom” line. There could be others as well.
The Democratic incumbent David Paterson withdrew from the race under a cloud of scandal. He previously took over from another Democrat, eliot Spitzer, who did in fact resign after getting caught using escorts from Kristin Davis’ former business. Davis has alleged that Spitzer abused escorts.