Former Rep. Rick Lazio just went behind closed doors with Assembly Republicans here to sell his gubernatorial race to nervous lawmakers who were openly impressed yesterday by his rival, Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy. Lazio will meet with Senate Republicans next.
Lazio was warmly greeted, with something Levy didn't get -- a standing ovation -- and a big bear hug from Hamburg Assemb. Jack Quinn III, whose father served with Lazio in Congress.
But behind all the love is some unconcealed impatience.
“We’re actually looking for Rick to have a plan to not only win support among the party leaders but to begin to resonate with the average New Yorker,” said Assemb. James Conte (R-Huntington Station), on his way into the meeting. Conte's district is split between Nassau, whose chairman backs Lazio, and Suffolk, whose chairman is for Levy.
“So far, Rick has been Rick, but, you know, relatively lackluster,” Conte said. “There hasn’t been a ‘wow’ factor, and that’s what we’re looking for.
“Levy was well received. People liked his plan and liked his energy, and it might be that Rick is lacking some energy.”