Moving On Cox?
Disgruntled Republicans are quietly making calls in advance of their party’s nominating convention next week to discuss the possibility of a “no confidence” vote on state GOP Chairman Ed Cox.
“He really hasn’t done anything other than make it the most disorganized and confused event that you’re going to see,” an anti-Cox source griped. “It’s going to be absolute confusion and bedlam.”
A group of malcontents is likely to meet in New York City before the convention gets underway at the Sheraton next Tuesday, the source said. Those calling around include, but are not limited to, allies of gubernatorial contender Rick Lazio, who has been at odds with Cox for some time.
Discontent with Cox’s leadership has been brewing since he abandoned Lazio, the party’s gubernatorial frontrunner (in polls and the weighted convention vote, although not fundraising), to convince Democratic Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy to switch parties and run.
It was widely speculated at the time that Cox’s interest in Levy was largely born of a desire to curry favor with Suffolk County GOP Chairman John Jay LaValle in connection with the congressional bid of Cox’s son, Chris, in NY-1 against Democratic Rep. Tim Bishop.
Although both LaValle and Ed Cox have denied any collusion, Maggie Haberman’s piece today on Cox family members making close to $80,000 worth of contributions to local GOP committees and campaigns in NY-1 is sure to add fuel to the fires of speculation.
It should be noted, however, that LaValle has issued no endorsement in the NY-1 race, allowing a three-way primary to go forward (Randy Altschuler and George Demos are also running).
Republicans have also complained that Cox hasn’t lived up to the fundraising pledge he made when he was battling for the state chairmanship with former Niagara County GOP Chairman Henry Wojtaszek and has failed to unify the party, pitting various candidates against one another by encouraging primary battles.
The GOP could very well come out of its convention with three – and possibly four – statewide primaries.
There are now four candidates for governor, thanks to the very late add of former LG contender M. Myers Mermel.
There are also multiple candidates for both US Senate seats and two candidates vying for the AG post, although Staten Island DA Dan Donovan today passed the 44 percent mark when he landed the support of Nassau County GOP Chairman Joe Mondello.
Onondaga County Comptroller Bob Antonacci is still in the race, according to Tony Casale, a former assemblyman, who is advising the upstate lawmaker on his nascent (and longshot) statewide run.
“He’s run this campaign, whether for good or for bad, in a very low-key fashion,” Casale admitted. “But he’s still a candidate; he’s continuing to make his calls to county chairs and delegates, and he continues to meet with people.”
It has been widely speculated that Cox would be forced to step down if Levy fails to get on the ballot, which seems highly likely at this point.
There is no provision in the state party rules for removing a chairman in the middle of his term (or there wasn’t the last time I checked). Lazio’s camp has so far refused to address the question of leadership, but it’s hard to see him supporting Cox going forward if he is the party’s nominee.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Liz Benjamin on May 28, 2010 at 3:15 pm, and is filed under 2010 Gov Race, Ed Cox, Republicans, Rick Lazio, Steve Levy. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|