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Long IslandPoliticsSpin Cycle

GOP schisms due for display at state parley

The state Democratic Committee suppressed or avoided discord last week in launching its Andrew Cuomo-Bob Duffy ticket. Party officials gamely agreed to disagree over the contested attorney general’s slot, by setting up a five-way primary.

In sharp contrast, the smaller state Republican party convenes Tuesday with schisms on display, deciding for example if wild-card party-switcher Steve Levy advances another step for governor, or if Rick Lazio locks up the nomination as once presumed, or if a sudden prospect named Myers Mermel mounts a major miracle.

Multiple candidates also seek both U.S. Senate nominations. From Nassau, Comptroller George Maragos and ex-legislative presiding officer Bruce Blakeman seek different seats. Out of Suffolk, Gary Berntsen seeks to run against Sen. Charles Schumer as does Maragos. Expect no Suffolk-Nassau solidarity, given icy relations between county chairmen John Jay LaValle and Joseph Mondello.

Republicans tend to invite losses when they pick differently from Conservatives. On Friday, that party tapped Lazio for governor and Jay Townsend and former Congressman Joe DioGuardi for the Senate seats. But Harry Wilson and Dan Donovan are expected to carry both ballot lines, for comptroller and AG. They could be the GOP’s strongest prospects. Coverage will begin Tuesday from the convention at the Sheraton in Manhattan.

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