Malcolm For Mayor On GOP Line Over Before It Starts?
Sen. Malcolm Smith may be talking to state GOP Chairman Ed Cox about a potential run for NYC mayor on Row B in 2013, but the men who would have the final say in the matter – the city’s five GOP county chairs – don’t appear eager to give the Queens Democrat the go ahead.
A Wilson Pakula – the permission necessary for non-enrolled members of a party to run on its ballot line – requires the assent of three of the five chairs. According to Manhattan GOP Chairman Dan Isaacs, Smith has so far failed to meet that crucial threshold.
“I spoke to everybody today, and three of them were like: ‘No’,” Isaacs told me during a brief telephone interview this afternoon. “One would not rule out the possibility.”
“…I am not open to him, quite frankly. His problem is the baggage he brings along. There have been a lot of disconcerting stories about what has gone on with him with the nonprofits, the racino, his stewardship of the Democratic majority, his distasteful use of campaign funds. At the end of the day, there are a lot of issues with Malcolm Smith.”
Queens GOP Chairman Phil Ragusa didn’t sound too bullish on Smith either during a chat with the Daily Politics.
In an email sent to members of his executive committee this afternoon, Isaacs said he was not one of the “Republican leaders” mentioned in this morning’s Post as talking with Smith about the possibility of his run on the GOP line.
” State Chairman Cox similarly has not contacted me to alert me to the conversations that he has been having with the Senato,” Isaacs wrote. “Like many of you, the first I learned of his interest in seeking our line was when I read the article this morning. I have no doubt that this story will continue to play out in the next few days and will let each of you know if I learn anything further on this end.”
Isaacs told me that shortly after he sent that email at 2 p.m., he managed to connect with Cox on the phone.
Anxious to maintain its toehold in City Hall after former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani left office, the NYC GOP has allowed Mayor Bloomberg to run on its line in all three of his campaigns. (The first time, he was a Democrat-turned-Republican. He switched his enrollment to become a small-i independent in 2007 and needed a Wilson Pakula for his quest for a third term in 2009. The chairs made Bloomberg work for it, but eventually relented).
Smith isn’t the first Democrat mentioned as a potential contender for the GOP line in 2013. Tom Allon has also had conversations with GOP leaders, and Isaacs called him “the only moderate, pro-business Democrat in the race.” (Like Giuliani, Allon is also seeking to forge a relationship with the Liberal Party, although it’s a shadow of its former self and no longer has a ballot line, requiring a petition drive to get candidates onto the ballot).
Isaacs said he expects that either NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly or supermarket/oil mogul John Catsimatidis will be the GOP’s candidate to succeed Bloomberg. He takes Smith’s interest as a good sign, however, noting that the GOP line “does mean something” and the current crop of Democratic candidates “has run so far to the left to appease the unions and special interests that a moderate Democrat looks attractive.”
NOTE: Colin Campbell points out Smith has the option of switching his enrollment, although he would have to act before October in order for the change to be viable by the 2013 election. If he is a bona fide Republican, there’s nothing the chairs can do to prevent him from running – and primarying whoever it is they settle on as their standard-bearer.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Liz Benjamin on August 1, 2012 at 3:41 pm, and is filed under 2013, Democrats, Ed Cox, Republicans, State Senate. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|