Tom Wilson won another term as GOP State Chairman tonight, defeating rival Peter Mancuso.
Mancuso worked hard to become GOP Chair, pleading his case to any county committee officials and Republican players who would listen, but in the end he didn’t have the support to unseat Wilson. While the organization said they do not release vote tallies by custom, Mancuso said he heard the vote was 28 to 10.
Paul DiGaetano, who had also been seeking the position but was said to have dropped out of the race last week, did not show up to tonight’s meeting.
In his speech, Mancuso stressed that the party was in dire straits and needed money above all else, noting that he would not take a salary and arguing that he would be more successful in raising money. He also defended himself against the recent reports that he donated $1,000 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in 2005. While he admitted making the donation, he said it was part of a larger Wall Street event that raised $50,000 — $25,000 to Republicans and $25,000 to Democrats.
“If in 48 years on Wall Street and at my age that is the only negative thing anyone can say about me, I say God bless me,” said Mancuso. “I didn’t finance anybody’s campaign. I didn’t help any Republicans lose.”
Tom Wilson said in his speech that, while Republicans were not winning many elections, he had help set up the foundation for future victories.
“While the outcomes of the elections have fallen short in of what all of us would like, nobody could say it’s because the party didn’t do our job. We raised over $4 million, and secured $2 million from the RNC and others,” said Wilson.
Mancuso and Wilson remained cordial after the vote, and Mancuso vowed that he would stay involved in the committee.
“I’m retired. I’ve got the time. I’ve got the inclination,” he said. “I’m going to take three days off and think it through.”