by Roger Stone
In 2010, New York State Republicans nominated former Congressman Rick Lazio for Governor in their state convention. State party leaders worked feverishly to deny Buffalo businessman Carl Paladino the nomination at the Republican State Convention. Paladino subsequently traversed the state’s arcane and difficult petitioning process to successfully challenge Lazio in the Republican State Primary. Paladino’s petitions were legally challenged by Republican Party lawyers but the petitions were upheld. State Republican Chairman Ed Cox was widely criticized for the party’s attempt to avert a primary. Among those most critical of Cox was then Erie County Republican Chairman Nick Langworthy. Republican voters overwhelmingly selected Paladino as their standard-bearer in the primary.
Ironically, Paladino’s campaign collapsed when he accused New York State Assembly leader Sheldon Silver of being a criminal, accused New York State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos of corruption, and accused New York Governor Andrew Cuomo of engaging in sexual harassment against women. Silver died in prison weeks ago, Skelos was sentenced to more than four years in prison for corruption, and Andrew Cuomo was forced to resign as Governor in the wake of substantiated sexual harassment charges against him.
Now, Langworthy, who has become New York State Republican Committee Chairman, is repeating the same mistake as his predecessor. On March 1st of this year, the Republican State Convention selected Long Island Congressman Lee Zeldin, for whom I have a high regard, as the endorsed Republican candidate for Governor. Former Trump White House Aide and son of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Andrew Giuliani (see https://nyforgiuliani.com/), has filed a sufficient number of signatures, again traversing the state’s arcane and difficult ballot access requirements, to ensure and compete in a Republican Primary for Governor. Now, Chairman Langworthy and the state Republican apparatus seek to challenge those petitions to avert letting the Republican voters of New York select their candidate for Governor.
Why are New York Republicans acting like Democrats? Why do party bosses object to Republican Party voters choosing their candidate for Governor? Andrew Giuliani has more than established his credibility as a viable candidate for Governor. Why not let Republican voters decide?
With New York City in the grips of a growing crime epidemic caused by New York State Democrats enacting bail reform laws that allow hardened criminals who are arrested back on the streets within hours of their arraignment and with New York City public school children still being required to wear masks and the continued requirement that New York City employees, including the police and firefighters being required to submit to mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations, as well as hapless New York Governor Kathy Hochul’s chosen Lieutenant Governor being arrested for corruption, the stage seems set for a Republican resurgence in the 2022 statewide election.
That is why it is essential that New York State Republicans nominate their strongest possible gubernatorial candidate. There is no better test of a candidate’s skills and resilience than a vigorous Republican Party Primary contest. Party leaders would be wise to drop their challenge to Andrew Giuliani’s petitions and let Republican voters decide.