Further proving that there is no level of sense too minimal for New York State politics, Long Island Democrat and known mustache-wearer Steve Levy met with statewide Republican leaders yesterday with the hopes of wooing their support in the GOP gubernatorial primary — and it looks like he made his case pretty well. “It’s a long shot, but it’s not out of the question,” said party vice-chairman Vincent Reda, calling Levy an “attractive candidate” (see photo). “Anything can happen between now and June.” Levy, currently the Suffolk County executive, has $4.1 million in his campaign war chest, an amount that dwarfs the $640,000 or so that presumptive Republican candidate Rick Lazio has on hand, according to the Times. Though Levy could get on the Republican primary ballot as a Democrat, he would need 51 percent of the vote at the party’s convention this summer, and party leaders have indicated he’d need to change parties to truly be a viable candidate for them. He’s run on the Republican line before (and the Conservative Party line, and the Independence Party line, all in his Suffolk County race).
Lazio, for his part, laughed off Levy’s potential candidacy. “Steve Levy is a registered Democrat, so he should run in the Democratic primary,” chuckled his spokesman. “That’s where liberal Democrats belong.” (Levy is hardly a liberal Democrat, and in fact has been labeled by the Hispanic press as leaning far right on immigration.) Not laughing after the meeting with Levy, however, were several Republican leaders who were peeved Rick Lazio didn’t accept the same invitation. “He chose not to show up,” said one frosty county leader, who said he was taking Levy’s candidacy seriously. “That was his choice.”
Apparently, it was a bad one. This is New York: The way our politicians drop like flies, sometimes the key to success really is as simple as just showing up.