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Long IslandPoliticsSpin Cycle

Levy and GOP: Scanning the state scene

Discussions of a future for Steve Levy outside Suffolk have long included the possibility that he may go further on the GOP line than he would sticking with his own Democratic line. So he has, unsurprisingly, met with Republican state chair Ed Cox of Westhampton Beach, and is due to confer tonight with other GOP leaders upstate.

The county executive remained mum Tuesday, declining to comment on whether he has met with new state GOP leader Edward Cox or upstate GOP officials.

“This isn’t government, this is politics,” Levy said. “And there is strategy . . . and a lot of confidences involved.”

However, he added, “It’s no secret that I would embrace the backing of other parties like I did when I ran for county executive in 2007.”

Of his poll numbers, reported Monday, Levy said what he found “amazing” is that he is within “striking distance” of Gov. David Paterson. “What’s significant is not where you are, but what your potential is,” he said.

Levy made his comments after appearing with former top aide and Paterson appointee Kevin Law, head of LIPA at a news conference on putting solar carports over county parking lots.

Law said both Levy and Attorney General Andrew Cuomo are longtime friends, but added, “As far as I know there is only one announced candidate and that’s David Paterson. I support the governor.”

Frank Tantone, Islip GOP chairman, warned state Republicans not to back Suffolk’s Democratic County Executive Steve Levy for governor, saying he has “tried to decimate” the party and it would be “an insult to the every Republican in the state.”

“Steve Levy? Are you kidding me,” Tantone said, in his caustic letter to the state GOP leader.

“He endorsed the likes of John Kerry for president. He supported Eliot Spitzer’s campaign for governor,” and “worst of all,” he added, Sheldon Silver for Assembly speaker. “Steve Levy as our Republican candidate for governor is an insult to the very ideals for which we have always stood,” added Tantone, who like all Suffolk leaders has officially endorsed Lazio.

“Say it isn’t true Ed, and say it now,” Tantone said.



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