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Intelligencer: May 16-23


Carpetbagger Weld Gets Warned:
No easy march to Albany for former Mass. Gov.
If Bill Weld does decide to take on Eliot Spitzer for governor in 2006, he’ll be facing a bloody primary battle first. Secretary of State Randy Daniels—who has said he’s running in 2006 if Pataki retires—has started staffing up a campaign. Daniels has made his first big hire: pollster John McLaughlin, a Rockland County–based operative who’s advised a host of top GOP senators and worked on Arnold Schwarzenegger’s California coup. Daniels, who is black and to the right of Weld on social issues, says, “If Pataki doesn’t run, I will, and I will take on Weld or anyone else in a primary.” A senior Albany Republican says Daniels’s outside-the-establishment candidacy is infuriating state GOP leaders who are holding out hope for Weld. His hiring of McLaughlin represents the first time in recent memory that a credible GOP statewide candidate hasn’t gone with Arthur Finkelstein, the brains behind Pataki’s rise.
—Greg Sargent



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