Democrat-turned-Republican Steve Levy made his second campaign kick-off announcement today in Lower Manahattan, with the Statue of Liberty behind him, surrounded by local Republican and Conservative leaders who are supporting him.
Levy dismissed a recent 10-point critique of his record, fired off by former Republican Rep. Rick Lazio, who maintains Levy is still a “liberal Democrat.”
“If you don’t have a record the first thing you do is try to attack the other guy,” said Levy. “Yeah, you can have 10 reasons: ‘Here are the 10 reasons why not to vote for Steve Levy.’ Give me one why we should vote for you. That’s what the people want to hear. They want to hear what I’m all about. What’s the plan? What’s the plan?”
Levy said Republicans sought him out after he made public his financial plan for fixing the state’s budget, and that his change of parties was in response to Republican entreaties.
“The fact is Republican leaders reached out to me earlier this year when they saw that there was a need for dramatic change in this state. They liked what they saw when it came to my proven record,” he said of managing Suffolk County’s finances.
Levy also said he had about “40 percent of the committee vote,” in the Republican Party. He needs 51 percent to be allowed to run on the Republican line, since it’s too late for his party registration change to take effect. Levy said there’s “a great chunk,” of Republican chairmen “undecided” between he and Lazio, despite Lazio’s claims to the contrary.
“Now some have put out releases that [say] ‘Oh, they have it locked up,’ ” said Levy. “Some of those people he said were with him were actually standing with me here today, and up in Albany.”