The state Conservative Party is having their convention at the Sheraton in New York City later today, a few days before the Republican Party will meet in the same hotel to nominate its own slate of candidates.
No Republican has won statewide office without support from the Conservative Party in decades, so by having its convention first, the smaller, more ideological-driven party is attempting to dictate who will be the Republican Party’s candidates.
In the races for attorney general, comptroller and governor, Conservatives seem pretty clear who their candidates will be: Dan Donovan, Harry Wilson and Rick Lazio.
But when it comes to who will take on Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, “there is a possibility there will be a primary in that,” according to the county chairman from Brooklyn, Gerry Kassar.
He said both Bruce Blakeman, the former Long Island lawmaker, and Joe DioGuardi, the former congressman, both have substantial support among Conservatives and could both wind up on the ballot.
A third candidate, David Malpass, a former adviser to Bush 41, has little support, said Kassar.
The convention begins at 4:30 p.m.