Carl Paladino and Conservative Party Chairman Mike Long may ask United States Attorney Preet Bharara to run for Governor in 2018 on the Conservative Party’s ‘row C,’ speculates a source familar with both men’s fondness for the federal prosecutor.
Such a robust third party candidacy could displace the Republican Party’s ballot position on ‘row B,’ which would jeopardize patronage jobs at every county Board of Elections across the state.
That outcome would destroy the vestiges of New York’s Republican Party establishment, representing a coup de’ta that would have been unthinkable even five years ago.
Paladino has long been at odds with GOP Chairman Ed Cox, and has been calling for his resignation for years. Some political observers consider the rumor political posturing designed to press Cox to resign so that his local loyalist, Nick Langworthy, can takeover as state chairman.
Bharara is a registered Democrat — who served as Senator Chuck Schumer’s general counsel — but is broadly popular on both sides of the political spectrum. But political operatives argue that a third party candidacy would strengthen Bharara’s brand as an Albany outsider.
Born to a Sikh father and a Hindu mother, Bharara grew up in Eatontown in suburban Monmouth County on the Jersey Shore. He graduated as Valedictorian from the elite Ranney School in 1986. In 1990 he graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College, and then earned a JD from Columbia University in 1993. He was a member of The Columbia Law Review.
While on the staff of Schumer’s Judiciary Committee during the final years of the Bush administration, Bharara played a leading role in the investigation of former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’ politically motivated firings of United States attorneys.
An aide to Mayor Bill de Blasio argues privately that Cuomo’s dislike of Bharara stems from his tenure as an Assistant in the US Attorney’s Office. During that time he brought criminal cases against the bosses of the Gambino and Columbo crime families.