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Battle to Kiss Up To Spitzer

Pucker up, Dems!

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With Eliot Spitzer’s vast lead for governor, one big question is, if he wins, who might he pick to replace State Democratic Committee chair Denny Farrell? “When you’re talking about reforming everything, as Spitzer is, you’d probably want someone with new vision,” says one Spitzer supporter, so it’s expected that he’ll install his own party chair—whose power lies in coordinating the Dems’ message and keeping the troops in line. Insiders say Richard Schaffer, the Suffolk County chair who aided the Democrats’ county takeover there, and Len Lenihan, chair of Erie County, who helped elect Buffalo’s first black mayor, are already jockeying for Spitzer’s favor, though Lenihan denies interest and Schaffer didn’t return a call. “Len endorsed Spitzer way early, while Schaffer has been the lead attack dog against Tom Suozzi,” a state Dem says. “Rich and Len are battling to see who can ingratiate himself the most with the next governor.”


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