Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy, a Democrat, continued his upstate tour today in trying to woo Republicans to cross-endorse him for governor, meeting with county GOP chairmen from the Rochester region in Ontario County.
While the chairmen were impressed with Levy’s credentials and message, Ontario County GOP chairman Jay Dutcher—who was asked by Levy to set up the meeting—said the basic message was: If you want to run as a Republican, become a Republican first.
“One of the main issues that did come up was we have a lot of very talented Republican candidates who have been talking about these issues for years,” Dutcher said. “And if the conversation is going to continue, he needs to publicly join the party.”
It’s a similar type message that Levy received yesterday in Watertown.
Dutcher said basically the ball is Levy’s court, but that the GOP is becoming increasingly comfortable with Rick Lazio as its gubernatorial candidate—which was echoed by state GOP chairman Ed Cox yesterday.
“We already have someone who is a strong candidate and you can only have one candidate at a time on the ballot,” said Dutcher, who has yet to endorse anyone for the seat.
“The window for Steve Levy, I think, is rapidly closing.”