New York - Levy Announces Candidacy For Governor

After registering to become a Republican, Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy announced his candidacy for governor today and received the backing of the state GOP chairman.

Levy appeared in Battery Park City this afternoon to announce his bid, following a similar news conference in Albany this morning.

Despite accusations of political opportunism for switching parties, Levy says he's running on his record, at a time he feels his skills are needed.

"This is indeed one of the most trying times in the history of New York State," Levy said. "No state in the union has escaped the pinch of the national recession, but here in Albany, an alarming lack of leadership and resolve has brought us to the brink of financial insolvency. The people of this state are crying out for someone with a proven record as an executive manager who can balance budgets, make the tough decisions to protect tax payers and save New York from financial ruin."

The gubernatorial candidate railed against "politics as usual."

However, Levy's name might not end up reaching the ballot.

To get the Republican nomination, Levy will have to collect the support of more than half the Republican delegates at the party's convention in June.

He did, today, pick up the backing of the Republican Party leader Ed Cox.

"I welcome Steve Levy into our party and, with his outstanding record of fiscal conservatism and detailed plan to save New York, I endorse his run for governor," Cox said in a statement released today.

His opponent former Congressman Rick Lazio has been criticized by some in the GOP, including Cox, as not being an aggressive enough fundraiser and not releasing concrete plans to change the state.

He has since unveiled some financial advisors to help with the fundraising.

Yesterday, Lazio unleashed some heavy criticism against Levy, saying he is not a true Republican.

"Somebody who has been a Democrat for his whole life, has supported [former Governor] Eliot Spitzer, and [State Assembly Speaker Sheldon] Silver, and [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi, and [President] Barack Obama, and switches simply. I think it would be very clear that this individual would have run as a Democrat if he felt that was an easier path,” said Lazio.

Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, who many believe will run for governor as Democrat, would only say that Levy has the right to run on whichever line he wants.



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