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Worried N.Y. GOP Seeks McCain’s Man

Who can save the state Republican Party?

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John McCain’s Super-Duper Tuesday victory in New York—he bested second-place finisher Mitt Romney by more than 20 percentage points—was so decisive it gave state Republican leaders an idea: Why not crown his skilled New York chairman, Edward Cox, as their new warlord? With the November election nearing, frantic Republicans worry they’ll lose their last power base, the State Senate, which they now hold by only two seats. Cox, 61, ran an aborted campaign to unseat Hillary Clinton in 2006, but he has the right background (Princeton, Harvard Law), family (his wife, Tricia Nixon Cox, is Richard’s daughter), enthusiasm (he chairs a host of committees and associations), and connections (he’s a partner at Patterson Belknap), and GOP leaders hoped his organizational prowess would help their statewide campaign efforts. But Cox isn’t much taken with the idea of chairing New York’s embattled Republicans. “I’m not interested in it,” he says. “I’ve never been interested in it. It’s just not my cup of tea.” Plus Cox says he’ll be helping the state party anyway: An independent-leaning candidate like McCain on the top of the ticket, he says, is the best shot to attract independents and Democrats to vote the Republican line.

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