Inside the New York GOP Convention
Tuesday, June 01, 2010
WNYC is reporting live from the GOP convention as delegates picks their slate of candidates for the fall elections.
New York Governor Nomination
New York's GOP Convention delegates will be asked to endorse a candidate to oppose Democrat Andrew Cuomo for governor later today. If they can't decide, four candidates will be chosen for a primary race.
Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy, who left the Democratic Party to run as a Republican, says he learned during his 2003 campaign that a tough primary can help in the general election. "It got us publicity every day for four months that we could never buy," Levy said. "And you come out of that primary with a great deal of name recognition and the ability to raise funds."
Levy has been endorsed by GOP Chair Ed Cox. Former Congressman Rick Lazio has been trying to paint himself as the eventual nominee by attacking Cuomo, and saying voters don't care about internal GOP party politics.
Also in the race are Buffalo businessman and Tea Party supporter Carl Palladino, and Myers Mermel, a real estate executive who ran Mike Huckabee's New York operation.
New York Senate Nomination
The Tea Party wing of the New York Republican party has gotten the upper hand over the GOP establishment in at least one race. Former CIA agent Gary Bernsten won the party endorsement for U.S. Senate. In his acceptance speech, Bernsten said he supported Arizona's aggressive use of local law enforcement agents to seek out illegal immigrants. The runner-up, small businessman and party activist Jay Townsend, won enough votes to force a Republican primary for Senate. The winner in November faces incumbent Senator Charles Schumer.
GOP Convention delegates will decide today who they want to challenge Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.
New York State Comptroller Nomination
New York's Republicans have nominated a former hedge fund manager to take on State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli. Harry Wilson says his financial background will allow him to fix the spending excesses of Democrats. The Harvard MBA helped the Obama administration in the takeover and turnaround of GM.
For more WNYC Election 2010 coverage, click here.