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Long IslandPoliticsSpin Cycle

Tensions mount in GOP as Lazio-Levy clash lingers

Backlash is building in some circles against the idea of supplanting ex-Rep. Rick Lazio as presumptive Republican nominee with career-long Democrat Steve Levy on the November ballot -- even as some Republicans continue to privately express skepticism about the conduct of Lazio's campaign.

The question right now is whether this is the equivalent of a divisive mini-primary that would bloody the eventual winner by alienating part of the party -- or if all blows over by the time the major party conventions open in the spring. Levy, who's dodged comment on his plans,  is expected to make his intentions known in the next few days, and there is much skepticism that he will switch parties and run for governor.

The Post's Maggie Haberman reports here that the Republican National Committee is letting state GOP chairman Ed Cox know it is not pleased with the Levy flirtation and does not want him running the party "Victory" funds.

And there's this, from a letter to fellow Republicans from former Erie GOP Chairman Bob Davis, as conveyed by Liz Benjamin:

"How can we possibly nominate a guy who is closer to Andrew Cuomo than he is to us?"

"What is the real agenda here? Is Ed Cox more concerned about his son getting the Suffolk County Republican nomination for Congress, or in electing a Republican as the next Governor of New York State?"

"As State Chair, Ed Cox promised to help our Party raise funding to elect a Republican Governor and return the State Senate to Republican control. That’s going to be very important in this year’s races. Is the State Party achieving it’s goals? How much has been raised? "
 

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