To say that New York State’s Republican voter base is irate with longtime State Chairman Ed Cox would be an egregious understatement. Indeed, the base is fiercely livid and wrathful. A leadership change at the head of the party is barely a first step to making the Party relevant in New York State, they argue.
Following the loss of Marc Molinaro — widely seen as a stellar candidate running in a favorable year for an opposition candidate — activists across the party are already contemplating Cox’s successor. Molinaro was so badly underfunded that he was unable to place a single television advertisement of his campaign but still earned nearly 38% of the vote — overperformance, considering the campaign raised less than a million dollars.
Erie County Republican Chairman Nick Langworthy; Dutchess County Republican Chairman Vince Casale; attorney Todd Aldinger; and former State Senator Greg Ball; have all been floated among party operatives as possible successors to Cox, though each comes with unique strengths.
But ousting Cox — who is deeply entrenched in social circles comprised of the governing elite in politics, finance, and real estate — might become a costly and visceral campaign, wrought with discourses on wealth, privilege, and democracy.
Many political operatives suspect that Cox will resign the Chairmanship in order to avoid the reputational risks that such party infighting would almost surely entail. Photos of a lavish Manhattan wedding between Chris Cox and Andrea Catsimatidis (held in the depths of the ‘Great Recession’) are already being circulated among upstate activists.