Spin Cycle

News, views and commentary on Long Island, state and national politics.

Republican congressional contender Christopher Cox has launched a battle to wrest the Conservative ballot line away from the minor party’s designee, millionaire Randy Altschuler.

Cox last week began circulating petitions to wage what is known as an “Opportunity to Ballot,” which would set up a write-in primary Sept. 14 against Altschuler, the minor party’s design. (Editor's note: Cox is the son of Edward Cox, the state GOP chairman, and Altschuler is supported among others by Michael Long, the Conservative chairman, who this season emerged as something of a political nemesis of Cox. Chris Cox is also grandson of the late President Richard Nixon).

Cox needs a minimum of 554 signatures of Conservative voters by July 22 to qualify for the write-in campaign, but will need double that to survive a likely petition challenge. And to be successful in his long-shot bid, Cox will have to undertake a labor intensive effort arming supporters with ink pads and rubber stamps, the most effective way do a write-in to survive any recount challenge. Things will be easier for Altschuler whose name will be listed on the ballot.
Cox said he is seeking the write in because “going around the dfistrict a lot of people in the Conservative Party have expressed wanting a choice...we’re fighting for demcoracy to give them that choice.”

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Edward Walsh, Suffolk Conservative chairman, said that Cox may try, but predicted there is “no way” he’ll succeed. “It’s a very taunting task and I hear he’s having trouble getting enough signatures just to get on the Republican line,” he said.

Maggie Haberman adds to this on Politico..