Cox to fund moderates in WNY?

NEW YORK - JUNE 29: Ed Cox speaks to members of the media and supporters while announcing the launch of his Senate exploratory committee website June 29, 2005 in New York City. Cox is considering a run against Hillary Clinton for a U.S. Senate seat in New York. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Buffalo based businessman Carl Paladino is flirting with another run for Governor of New York. Observers suspect that Paladino is posturing to force out the current party Chairman Ed Cox — a moderate establishment figure who Paladino has lambasted harshly since his 2010 gubernatorial effort.

Paladino wants to install a loyalist to exersize greater influence over the state organization. Most observers expect Paladino to demand the installation of Erie County GOP Chairman Nick Langworthy as Cox’s replacement — or face another Paladino candidacy from the right.

At the same time, internal GOP polling suggests that Donald Trump could win the Republican presidential primary in every congressional district in the state. Observers speculate that 2018 could be a wave year for the right wing in the primary process — which may lead to sweeping Democrat victories in general election contests.

It is widely rumored in downstate circles that Cox is worried, but quietly planning an effort to undermine Paladino on his own turf. Beginning in the next few months, a high profile Republican operative in Manhattan says that Cox will “line up funding” to support moderate Republican groups in Western New York “with the purpose of undermining Carl Paladino.”

Among those expected to fund Cox’s effort is billionaire Mike Bloomberg, who is a frequent contributor to the New York Republican Party and is familiar with local state senate contests.

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