Myers Mermel, Generous Republican

mermel Myers Mermel, Generous RepublicanIt seems M. Myers Mermel—the real estate adviser and investor who briefly campaigned this spring to be the Republican nominee for governor (following a few months of campaigning to be the party’s nominee as Lieutenant Governor)—became quite the generous campaign donor this year.

In an apparent effort to earn recognition and goodwill within the state Republican Party (he’s a relative newcomer to the local political scene), Mr. Mermel spread money around the state, including a $14,000 donation to Rick Lazio made in January, making him one of Mr. Lazio’s top 35 donors. (Perhaps he came to regret this, when he mounted an unsuccessful challenge to Mr. Lazio at the state party convention to be the nominee.)

All in all, he is listed in state campaign filings as personally giving more than $51,000 to various candidates and county organizations since the start of the year, in addition to other donations to federal candidates from New York.

“It seemed as if in January that Rick would be our nominee without any challenge,” he said yesterday. “I wanted to demonstrate that I supported him as I do other Republicans, as I still do.”

As for donations to county organizations, he—at the very time he was soliciting their endorsements—gave contributions to many county parties around the state.

Here’s a couple:

QUEENS COUNTY REPUBLICAN PARTY HOUSEKEEPING ACCOUNT, $8,000, May 28

CAYUGA COUNTY REPUBLICAN COMMITTEE, $1,000, May 21

His stated reasoning for the county donations: he simply wanted to spread more funds to the counties.

“There was no intention behind it other than goodwill and trying to bring resources to the county level,” he said.

Mr. Mermel, the CEO of the real estate firm Tenantwise, is an interesting character in the Republican scene, and sought to portray himself as a pro-business candidate who would be able to garner financial and popular support that, thus far, has not been easy to come by for Republicans. He had not been tremendously active on the political scene until the past few years, and acted as Mike Huckabee’s New York chair in his bid for the presidency.

ebrown@observer.com