New York: Businessman Still on the Fence About Arcuri Race

Posted April 9, 2008 at 6:53pm

The businessman that Republicans are trying to recruit into the race against freshman Rep. Michael Arcuri (D) told a local newspaper this week that he probably won’t decide whether to make the race until the end of April.

“I hate to put people off, but I’m still working this through, and I’ll have an answer by the end of the month,” contractor Richard Hanna (R) told The [Oneonta] Daily Star in Wednesday’s editions.

Hanna did express confidence that if he enters the race in the next few weeks he will still have “plenty of time to get my message out.”

But Hanna’s foot-dragging comes as one of the leading county Republican organizations in the 24th district, the Otsego County GOP, is set to meet on April 28 and was hoping to endorse Hanna then.

Before Arcuri’s 9-point victory in 2006, the central New York district was represented for 24 years by Rep. Sherwood Boehlert, a moderate Republican. The district gave 53 percent of the vote to President Bush in the 2004 White House election.

According to the newspaper, a politically unknown Republican, Raymond Gorton, also has expressed interest in taking on Arcuri.

Pataki Backing Oros in GOP Race for Hall’s Seat

Although some Republicans continue to search for a top-tier candidate to challenge freshman Rep. John Hall (D) this year, former Gov. George Pataki (R) has decided to cast his lot with one of the GOP candidates already in the race.

Pataki appeared Wednesday at the opening of the campaign headquarters of Westchester County Legislator George Oros (R) and offered his endorsement. Oros’ campaign headquarters is in Peekskill, where Pataki once served as mayor.

“It’s extremely helpful,” Oros told The Journal News, speaking of the former governor’s endorsement. “I think it lends some credibility to my campaign.”

Oros is fighting for the Republican nomination against Kieran Michael Lalor, an Iraq War veteran.

Republicans were congratulating themselves last year when wealthy businessman Andrew Saul entered the race against Hall. But he abruptly dropped out around Thanksgiving, and the race has fallen way down the GOP’s priority list since then.

— Josh Kurtz