Friday, June 02, 2006

New York GOP Nominates Faso for Gov

The split in the New York Republican party got a little wider yesterday, as delegates to the state party convention voted to nominate former assembly minority leader John Faso (over former MA Gov Bill Weld) to be the party's nominee against Eliot Spitzer in this fall's gubernatorial race. Now, since recent polls have suggested it might not even matter who the GOP runs since Spitzer's probably going to walk away with it in November, the party's decision is nonetheless an important one.

Weld is (tacitly or explicitly) backed by the moderate-liberal wing of the state party, including current lame-duck Gov George "I Want to be President" Pataki, former NYC super-mayor Rudy Giuliani, and state party chairman Stephen Minarik. In a December straw poll of county chairmen, Weld beat Faso handily. In the vote yesterday though, Faso received 61.2% of votes to Weld's 38.8%. Since Weld passed the 25% mark, the vote triggers a September primary (the first for this race since 1994).

In what I'm sure is a surprise to absolutely no one, I support Weld's bid for the governship, although I may end up voting for Spitzer in November anyway. If anyone has even the tiniest glimmer of hope at beating Spitzer, it's Weld, not Faso. It helps, of course, that I agree widely with him on the issues and he certainly brings more executive experience to the table.

I think all in all, this debate within the state party is a good thing. More discussion about the route the GOP should/must take in the coming years is vital, and I welcome it. I hope, of course, that the campaign doesn't devolve into the kind of nasty mud-battle that it quite easily could; let's behave like adults, keep the conversation going, and move forward.


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