Independence Party Chair MacKay Open to Levy, Others

ALBANY—Steve Levy—a third party candidate for governor?

Since announcing this weekend he has created an exploratory committee to consider a gubernatorial run, the Suffolk County executive and his aides have ruled out no scenario—not a primary against David Paterson for the Democratic nomination, not a bid for the Republican line, not any other course of action.

“I’ve always managed as a centrist person who gets it that you have to allow the business community to grow and expand your tax base as well. I’m someone who’s fiscally conservative and believes in law-and-order while I’m more socially progressive and moderate, and that’s something that resonates to the electorate at large, that type of mixture. I think I do appeal to people across all political parties as I look toward 2010,” Levy told Fred Dicker on WGDJ this morning.

Levy has been cross-endorsed in the past by the Republican and Independence parties. He comes from the same county as Frank MacKay, chairman of the statewide Independence Party, who I called to ask about Levy’s candidacy.

“Certainly I know and like Steve. We have a relationship, and I’ve endorsed Steve in the past. He has the name and the resources to explore whatever office he pleases,” MacKay told me. “Anybody that we’ve ever endorsed for any office that’s seeking a different office–whether it’s a lateral move or a forward move—we’d certainly give an ear to their plan, but without first talking to him I’d be reluctant to comment on what his plans are. I’ve just heard second-hand that he set up an exploratory committee. The same courtesy is going to the attorney general, Governor Paterson, Tom DiNapoli, and everyone else who might be out there. We want to be fair to everyone.”