New York State Republican Party Chairman Ed Cox isn’t shy about recruiting Democrats to run for public office — a practice that often draws criticism from the party faithful before the candidate fades away from the political scene — observers are quick to recall his rabid support of Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy for Governor in 2010, and the series of candidacies that followed.
Perhaps that’s why Cox’s is taking particularly sharp criticism for his full throated endorsement of Democrat Jonathan Trichter’s candidacy for State Comptroller so quickly — following a barrage of anger from party activists and county committeemen that the party is failing to run a full slate of Republican candidates in a year when the Governor is weak and exposed to a potential indictment in the bid rigging scandal that has engulfed the administration.
It was revealed to many party officials this week that Trichter is a professional political operative with deeply leftist political views and a resume that suggests his loyalty will be defending the Democratic Party’s primacy in state politics by waging a ‘placeholder campaign.’
When Spitzer sought the Comptroller’s Office in 2013, Trichter received a $165,000 consulting fee from the resigned Governor. Trichter has also worked as an operative of Mark Green, Carolyn McCarthy, and Fernando Ferrer.
Trichter has received public encouragement to run by Cox as well as Conservative Party Chairman Mike Long, whose party base is even more upset with the prospective nominee.
Two term Republican County Executive Joel Giambra is also seeking the Republican Party’s nomination for State Comptroller at the convention next week. Giambra is said to be favored for the ticket by gubernatorial nominee Mark Molinaro and prospective Attorney General nominee John Cahill.
Tom DiNapoli was first appointed to the post in 2007; was then was elected to a full term in 2010, and subsequently reelected in 2014. He is seeking a third full term.