The campaign for the Republican nomination for governor was blown wide open on Thursday as the party’s presumptive frontrunner, Rick A. Lazio, lost key support after a last-minute entry into the race by a conservative Long Island Democrat.
he Democrat, Steve Levy, was quickly amassing Republican endorsements, just hours after he said he would switch parties and seek the Republican nomination.
Mr. Lazio, seeking to contain the damage and play down the growing number of defections from his campaign, hit back on Thursday, calling Mr. Levy, the Suffolk County executive, a “rank opportunist.”
Steve Levy is a moderate who had no chance in the Democratic primary. Lazio seemed to be a shoe in for the Republican nomination that appeared to be heading for being a sacrificial lamb against Anthony Cuomo in the general election.
Now, there's a reason to follow the race. Already, several county Republican heads have switched their support from Lazio to Levy. Lazio was the consensus choice but he didn't exactly get Republicans excited.
Now, we have a race. The first race is to the power brokers of the Republican party. The next race is to the delegates in their convention.