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Lazio acting like the Republican front-runner for governor

Rick Lazio was joined by two of his early backers Wednesday as he signed a no-new-taxes pledge outside the courthouse in Mineola.

On Lazio’s right was Michael Long, chairman of the New York State Conservative Party, whose executive board just endorsed Lazio for governor.

On Lazio’s left was Joseph Mondello, the Nassau County GOP chairman and former state GOP state chairman.

“I’m totally confident I’m going to be the nominee of the Republican Party and the Conservative Party,” Lazio said.

“Republicans, Conservatives statewide are strongly supporting me. You may have seen the most recent Siena College poll that had me with a 3-1 lead,” he said. “That’s the rank and file Republicans and Conservatives, people that matter, that vote in primaries.”

\[Here’s the back-and forth on the meaning of the poll, from Spin Cycle on Monday:
Steve Greenberg of the Siena poll says the poll was conducted during a period when there was publicity in several news media outlets about the prospect and machinations surrounding Levy's campaign. Still, most voters in the state, including most Republican voters, do not know who he is.
But of course in months ahead, "people will know a lot more" about him, based on what both he and his opponents tell them, since "campaigns are education sessions for voters," Greenberg said.
For their part, the Lazio forces stated:
"Today's Siena College poll shows that it is inconceivable the Republican Party will nominate a liberal, Obama stimulus supporting, John Kerry and Al Gore endorsing, tax hiking, registered Democrat like Steve Levy. The vote for Obamacare last night by Democrats in Washington and the failures of Democrats in Albany is exactly why we need new ideas and new leadership, not more liberal Democrats like Andrew Cuomo and Steve Levy. Rick Lazio will fight higher taxes, stand up against outrageous Medicaid mandates, and drain the ethical swamp in Albany. He is the only candidate who will provide sweeping and fundamental change for New York. That's why Rick Lazio is destroying Steve Levy.\]

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