The little known right wing Assemblyman Ray Walter is running for County Executive, as of yet. Incumbent Mark Poloncarz has over $400,000 in his campaign account and the backing of the Democrat party organization, despite upsetting some segments of organized labor and his startling record managing Child Protective Services.
Walter has a fundraising event scheduled for June 4th. But observers say that the Assemblyman needs an impressive showing at the fundraiser simply to remain plausible. If he fails to raise upwards of $200,000, the posit, he may want to consider stepping aside for an atypical candidate recruited from the private sector, another party, or with a compelling narrative.
“This should be looked as at an opportunity to find the next Chris Collins — someone with private sector expertise who doesn’t fit that career politician mold,” says a member of the Republican committee. “Ray is a great guy, but he isn’t going to win countywide until he can put a more moderate face and a softer tone on things.”
There are a handful of GOP operatives who think that this year’s allegedly poor poll numbers are an opportunity to reach out to demographics that are not traditionally aligned with the Republican party. Others say rolling the dice on an untested candidate with no experience is a risk, but one with out much to lose.
Operatives throw around names like entrepreneur Sundra Ryce (D), Assemblyman Micky Kearns (D/I/R), County Legislator Lynne Dixon (R/I), or the Oshei Foundation’s Robert Gioia (D). If the polls are telling you the voters want a Democrat, then run one on the Republican line just to the right of Poloncarz, they advise.
It’s unclear whether or not Walter — or the party for that matter — has an exit plan, should they need it.