Skip to comments.What’s the Matter with the New York State GOP? Winnable Races, but too few Candidates
Posted on 01/29/2010 12:20:47 PM PST by neverdem
In the wake of Scott Browns upset win in Massachusetts, Blue-Chip GOP candidates are coming out of the woodwork around the country. But there seems to be little progress in dark blue New York at least when it comes to statewide races. With a dearth of good candidates (so far), New York may be one state where Democrats dodge a Republican wave that seems set to sweep the nation in 10 months.
This year the Empire State is host to a bevy of statewide contests. Voters will elect two US Senators, a Governor, Attorney General and Comptroller. At this point, there are two Republican candidates declared for those contests: former Representative Rick Lazio for Governor, and former County Legislator Bruce Blakeman for Kirsten Gillibrands Senate seat. Admittedly, New York has few top-tier Republican candidates especially after 3 consecutive disastrous cycles. But polls show that Gillibrand is eminently beatable. And the Governors race should be appealing as well even if you assume that Andrew Cuomo will defeat incumbent David Paterson in a primary.
The main story on the Republican side has been of heavyweights who take a pass. And this is a state with few Republican heavyweights. The list probably begins and ends with former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. While Giuliani considered both gubernatorial and Senate races, state Republicans grumbled about his Hamlet Act. Eventually party leaders moved to line up other candidates for those races, and Giuliani decided he wasnt interested, anyway.
Almost by default, former Governor George Pataki makes the list as well despite having left the governorship with approval ratings in the 30s back in 2006. But that was then, and this is now. Pataki leaders Gillibrand in Senate polling. The last prominent Republican widely looked to as a potential statewide candidate is Congressman Peter King one of just 2 Republicans in the states House delegation. King ultimately decided to run for re-election, rather than seek a promotion.
Admittedly, theres a relatively thin bench to work with at least, this year. The states Republicans had a great year in 2009 taking over several key counties, and winning city council seats across the state. In a few years, the people who won in 2009 and 2010 will challenge for higher office, but few are ready now.
When it comes to the Gillibrand Senate seat, a host of names have been floated. Giuliani, Pataki, and King (twice) have all been rumored for the seat. So have Marc Mukasey the son of the former Attorney General and Sue Molinari who was last elected in New York in 1996, and who currently resides in Virginia. After Scott Browns win theres been more speculation about Pataki, again. But a round of calls to Republican operatives found no one who expected him to run. And a well-placed Republican strategist describes it as a longshot; party leaders are actively pursuing other candidates.
Things are marginally better when it comes to the gubernatorial race. The lone Republican candidate Rick Lazio has run statewide before. He was defeated by Hillary Clinton 55%-43% in the 2000 Senate race a race in which he was a late substitute for Rudy Giuliani. Lazio is slowly and steadily winning endorsements, but some party leaders are looking for another candidate. Theres been talk about Erie County Executive Chris Collins (whos now definitively out of the race), and even former State Senator Mike Balboni who jumped from the State Senate to a job in the Spitzer administration, helping the Democrat party retake control of that body.
In the last few weeks things have gotten bizarre, as Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy has reportedly been in discussion with GOP leaders about switching parties and running for Governor. Its been reported that Levy wants the GOP to clear the field for him a stunning request for a turncoat with little name ID. Because Levy is a fiscal conservative whos run with Republican and Conservative party backing in the past, his running as a Republican shouldnt be dismissed out of hand. But it says a lot that some party leaders are courting him for any statewide race.
The news isnt all bad. It appears that one legitimate candidate may soon declare for state comptroller. And a number of strong candidates have stepped up for House races. (In fact, no state has more Democrat Congressional seats on Charlie Cooks 2010 watch list than New York which has a whopping eight). Plus, the filing deadline is not until July, so theres time for candidates to jump in.
But whether because of a thin bench, the high cost of statewide races, or the fact that state legislators look like bad candidates right now, theres not a lot of candidate for high-priority races. And if Gillibrand, Schumer, and either Paterson or Cuomo prevail without strong challenges, New Yorkers will be kicking themselves for years.
There's too many gutless, idiotic RINOs!
All the good ones have left the state or changed their residency.
You can add the 23rd to that. It’s held by Massa but was formerly held by Kuhl and before that Houghton. THe Repub. “challenger”, Reed, is a bona fide joke.
Would love to see a conservative 3rd party run but no luck so far.
The NY GOP leadership is ridden with RINOs. RINOs can’t win.
Not only are they RINOs, but many of them are machine politicians just as corrupt as the Democrats. And although I haven’t kept track recently, I don’t think there has been much new blood coming into the party leadership. Not much chance to groom new people, I suspect.
LOL, you can add the 21st with TONKO THE ANTI ISRAEL COMMUNIST ECONUTJOB. Hes a “GAZA 54”signer/endorser. No Rep/Conservative has announced a run against this ANTISEMITIC BASTARD.
That’s the 29th, not the 23rd (the 23rd is the district McHugh vacated and where Hoffman almost pulled off the upset).
The 29th is arguably the most Republican district in the state, and Massa is a liberal extremist (he’s even a member of the Progressive Caucus), so a half-decent candidate could win it for us. If no one else wants to run, Kuhl should run and win it back.
They are a bunch of total incompetents. They have no organization and no desire to win. They could take back the senate this year if they had the brains. They could also pickup 4-5 house seats as well. But this is the state that Pataki left the party in.
Tedisco should run for something, he’s electable. Also George Amadore.
Otherwise they should do like has been done in the past with Hillary, Cheney and Romney, recruit from another state.
Gillibrand won’t even win her own primary with that “new resident” from Tennessee already campaigning upstate. Harold Obama I think his name is.
NY-27 (Buffalo) is a district where the present Rep. Brian Higgins is democrat-machine apparatchik and the seat has been gerrymadered to make it seemingly blue forever.
Higgins is awful. Lockstep with Pelosi for the last 4 years. Was ready to ram through “health-care” last June, ran scared from town-hall meetings, etc...
He could be beaten, but I don’t think anyone, even a RINO, wants to take on his SEIU/AFSCME machine and money.
Instead frustrated people just pack up and go to GA, TX, NC or AZ.
The GOP is very weak...there is no excuse for not fielding a credible candidate in NY.
MD is much the same...We have a weak Gov. in O’Malley and and old do nothing 80 yr old Senator in Mikulski.
Ehrlich was considering running for Gov. but has made no announcement and hasn’t even hinted about running. Personally I wish he would run for Senate.
No elected official...Delegate, or State Sen. or even a county executive has filed or plans to against Sen Mikulski.
That’s is unforgivable...you at leas make them spend money and defend the seat with a named politician.
I swear if nobody announces I’ll file and run myself for Mikulski’s seat.
Do you really want some lazy good-for-nothing who hides behind the name "Oceander" being the only republican running against these SOBs?
TWO WORDS: Old Chairmen
The NYS GOP is comprised of about 60 counties with each having a county Republican Committee led by a county chairman.
The county chairmen meetings look like WWII veteran conventions - the average age of the chairs is something like 78 years old.
For example: The largest county in the 23rd Congressional district is Saratoga County - the chairman is a man who served for 20+ years and is nearing 80 years old.
He unilaterally selected the candidates to run for Congress ad lost to Kristen Gillibrand giving the seat to a Dem in a 3-1 GOP to DEM district. He lost again to regain it and when Gillibrand was appointed senater providing an easy opportunity to win it back the old man lost it again!
He’s getting too old, losing memory, doesn’t even know what the internet is - yet because he provided hundreds of patronage jobs to his committee members they are afraid to vote him out.
That’s going on accross the state whisch is why there is NO BENCH - these self proclaimed chairmen for life have refused to allow any new blood into the mix for fear they would threaten the chairman’s job.
The smae thing happened in the Northern distirct were Dede Sazzafava was chosen by OLD men who were the county chairs.
The NYS GOP is DEAD - the chairmen are comotose, the buddies in office are waiting out their pensions.
The Massachusetts GOP makes NY look bad if you can imagine.
Only the Tea Party can save the NYS GOP by ignoring the party infrastructure and running real people from the grassroots.
That would be great if we had some leadership in the party. But we have Richard Nixon’s son-inlaw who’s now in charge and so far I haven’t seen him do a damned thing.
Here’s an email I got from the GOP today. Pretty powerful, huh?
Scott Brown’s victory in Massachusetts shocked the political world and sent a strong, clear message to the Democrat elites in Washington that people have had enough with crushing new taxes
YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN NY ON FEB 9! SUPPORT:
Dean Murray, Suffolk
Mike Montesano, Nassau
Bob Friedrich, Queens
Rob Castelli, Westchester
GET INVOLVED TODAY!
and runaway spending.
New York sent the largest contingent of any state to help in Massachusetts. Now it’s time to direct that energy here at home.
We have an opportunity to keep the momentum going on February 9th in the four special elections for State Assembly.
YOU CAN MAKE MAKE THE DIFFERENCE!
Save the days leading to Feb 9th for door-to-door activities in the districts near you. Details soon!
Simply click a link to the right to learn more about how you can get active in the campaign of your choice.
You’ll go directly to the candidates’ websites where you can sign up to volunteer, donate money, receive updates and learn more about our candidates’ plans to clean up State Government and make it work for people again.
GET INVOLVED TODAY!
It sounds like a plan!
It’s pathetic that the GOP isn’t recruiting candidates against, Hilebrand?, she is very weak.
I’m very serious, I’ve been to all of the Tea Parties in my area, and I’ll inquire about support if they don’t field a name candidate.
Like you, I don’t want to, but we can’t let the Leftists go uncontested. I’m hoping somebody announces.
Gov Palin, I may need an appearance lol.
Getting ex-Gov. Palin to come and support such a move would be absolute pure gold, as well!
We’ve gotten used to the idea that we can’t win, at least downstate. This election cycle may see things pep up a bit. The Scott Brown victory spirit will only take us so far, however—he had national backing to the point of having $4 million left over, and it’s impossible for every candidate to have that. Still, I think we will see some good candidates come forward. For House races at least.
The last thing we need is a third party when for once we have a chance in some districts. Democrats can win by the same number of votes or less as that given to a third- party candidate. The races could be close. Unite the clans! If we don’t do it this time, when we have the momentum, when we have a chance, we deserve the Rat Congress and Senate that we get.
His son Chris Cox (Nixon’s grandson by Tricia) is running for NY-1 Eastern Suffolk County. The Cox family are long term residents of the area.