Joe Mondello, the departing chair of the New York State Republican Party, announced he’s supporting Henry Wojtaszek, the chairman from Niagra County, to be his successor.
In a public statement, Wojtaszek said, “The Nassau County Republican Committee has long set the standard for local parties throughout the country, and I have no doubt Chairman Mondello and his team will help us achieve great success at the ballot box.”
This helps shape the race up as a referendum on Mondello’s tenure, with supporters of it now free to line up behind Wojtaszek, and critics of it more prone now to get behind Ed Cox, a prominent lawyer who is Richard Nixon’s son-in-law.
Mondello took over the party four years ago, after George Pataki and the establishment tried helping Bill Weld get the G.O.P. gubernatorial nomination. They forced it a bit too much, and rival John Faso – whom Cox was supporting – was able to get it. During that fight, Mondello sat on the fence until the last minute, and, even after the dust settled, wasn’t considered much of a Faso booster. (When called on to cast a vote during the nominating convention, Mondello passed. Then, after everyone else voted and Faso and clinched the nomination, Mondello split his vote between the two candidates.)
Mondello became chair (replacing Steve Minarik), but his cool relationship with the Cox/Faso chunk of the party persisted.
It seems that feud can continue for a little longer.