GOP picks Lazio for governor, Levy fails to force primary

(AP) - New York Republicans on Wednesday picked formerU.S. Rep. Rick Lazio as their candidate for governor and rejected achallenge from Democrat-turned-Republican Steve Levy.Click "NEXT" to watch Rick Lazio's entire acceptance speech. "It is time we are unified," Lazio said as he accepted theparty's nomination during the GOP's fractious convention inManhattan. "We are going to Albany and when we get there, we aregoing to tear down the wall of incompetence and corruption. ...They have had their chance, and they have failed." Then he took aim at Democratic nominee Andrew Cuomo, the popularand well-financed attorney general and son of former Gov. MarioCuomo. "Andrew Cuomo has been too political for too long," Laziosaid. "Isn't it time we reject the status Cuomo?" Lazio represented his Long Island district in Congress from 1993to 2001 and lost to Hillary Rodham Clinton in the U.S. Senateelection in 2000. Levy is the Suffolk County executive and still enrolled as aDemocrat. He needed more than 50 percent of the votes in a secondballot to win a spot in a Sept. 14 primary, but mustered just lessthan 43 percent. Levy didn't immediately endorse Lazio after their bruising fightand said he was considering a run on a minor party line. Levy was backed by state GOP Chairman Ed Cox, who said Levyoffered the party's best chance for winning in heavily DemocraticNew York. Buffalo developer Carl Paladino has vowed to petition his way toa primary. Libertarian Warren Redlich and recently announcedcandidate Myers Mermel also sought the GOP nomination. Many who opposed letting Levy on the ballot screamed that it wastime to support "a real Republican," not someone who hassupported Democrats like President Barack Obama.

For Rick Lazio accepting GOP endorsement for governor, go to your digital cable box and select iO Extra on Ch. 612.

State Republican Convention gets under way

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