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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Levy Needs Fifty

Republican state convention this week (New York). Four known gubernatorial contenders: former congressman Rick Lazio, Suffolk County executive Steve Levy, western New York businessman Carl Paladino, and Myers Mermel.

Levy is still a registered Democrat. He has put in the change of enrollment form, but the enrollment change from Democratic to Republican Party does not take effect until after the fall primary. Hence, Levy is still a Democrat for election law purposes.

What does that mean? It means he needs the support of at least half the weighted delegate votes, plus one, just to get on the ballot! Without it he cannot run as a Republican -- no matter how many signatures he gets through the petition process. Period!

Other candidates, as registered Republicans, can gain a ticket to the primary ballot with just 25 percent of the delegate vote.

Bottom line: If Lazio gets 50 percent, he can keep Levy off.

In such a scenario (Levy failing to get 50 percent), I can see both Levy and Paladino running independent petition drives, theoretically dividing up right of center voters three ways. This could create a situation where the Republican candidate might run a risk of not coming in either first or second.

By the way, on other issues: It seems the convention is more concerned about Senate candidates to go up against short term incumbent Kristi Gillibrand.

Of course, there are dark rumblings about a removal of still-new state chairman Ed Cox. The party threatens to implode on itself.

Final note: Access to convention very restricted. There is no public access; this is by invite only. Not a good way to shed the country-club, Grey Poupon elitist image some detractors claim the state GOP has.


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