Republican leaders in Nassau and Suffolk counties have endorsed GOP state Chairman Ed Cox for another term, giving him a major boost amid a power struggle with Erie County’s Nick Langworthy for control of the party.
Nassau Republican chairman Joseph Cairo and Suffolk GOP Chairman Jesse Garcia issued a joint statement backing Cox, who has led the party since 2009.
Westchester Republican leader Doug Colety also endorsed Cox Monday.
The support of the three largest suburban counties already gives Cox 26 percent of the weighted votes of county chairs, weeks ahead of his expected showdown with Langworthy at the party's reorganizational meeting in July.
“It is no secret, this is a critical time in the history of our state party. Consensus, not combativeness, is a key to expanding our influence among New York’s voters,” Cairo and Garcia said.
“Chairman Cox has assured us in word and deed that he is prepared to make the meaningful changes to appeal to an electorate that is becoming more diverse in both interests and priorities," the statement said. "Together, we believe in his ability to expand the Republican footprint and lay the groundwork for local elections this year and for the all-important state and national races in 2020.”
Langworthy, the Erie County Republican chairman, on Saturday launched his bid to oust Cox. Without naming Cox, Langworthy in an online video decried GOP losses in congressional, legislative and statewide elections last fall and promised to “return a winning culture” to the party.
“Sadly, defeat has become a habit for New York Republicans,” Langworthy said. “Ours is a party sorely in need of new passion, new energy and a new generation of leadership.”
Langworthy's biggest endorsements to date have come from Staten Island and Syracuse Republican leaders.
Cairo and Garcia didn’t mention Langworthy by name either, but they said the party needed a “realistic plan to grow the Republican brand.” They also said the party needed leadership that was “sound, sensible and experienced.”