The first person to officially declare a possible primary campaign against Governor Paterson this year is not Andrew Cuomo — though the attorney general is making moves behind the scenes — but Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy. Levy is a conservative Democrat who was reelected in 2007 with a Saddam-esque 96 percent of the vote, while putting Mayor Bloomberg’s ballot efforts to shame by running on the Democratic, Republican, Independence, and Conservative lines. In the off chance that people not from Long Island have heard of him, it’s for his hard-line position against illegal immigrants, but he’s hoping his appeal goes further than that. Yesterday, he announced the formation of an exploratory committee to gauge the interest in a candidate with the “the skill set [he’s] developed,” one that most obviously and significantly includes an awesome mustache — something Governor Paterson recently decided was too unstatesmanlike — as well as some other stuff about closing a record budget deficit, cutting spending, etc.
Suffolk County Executive Weighing Primary Challenge to Paterson [NYT]
Levy For Gov? [Daily Politics/NYDN]