Delegates are filing into their seats here at the Republican State Convention, and we are hearing from multiple sources that Wendy Long is near receiving over 40 percent of the delegates at the convention.
Were Ms. Long to hit 50 percent of the delegates, she would become the official designee of the party, and it could add pressure for the other contenders to drop out. Candidates must receive 25 percent of the vote to get on the ballot or petition to get on a time-consuming and expensive process.
The candidate we hear who is losing the most altitude right now appears to be George Maragos. The Nassau County Comptroller appeared to be over 25 percent of the vote just a few weeks ago, but now we are told is below the automatic threshold, mostly at the expense of Congressman Bob Turner, who has been picking up delegates and counties since he entered the contest earlier this week.
It is also worth noting, perhaps, that the person counting votes for Ms. Long is GOP operative Lynn Krogh, who in 2010 was in charge of Rick Lazio’s convention operation. Then Mr. Lazio’s forces were able to deny Steve Levy, who was GOP chairman Ed Cox’s pick, a spot on the ballot.
There also seems to be a movement afoot to get all three candidates on the ballot. If Ms. Long were to not reach 50 percent on the first ballot, it is likely that Mr. Maragos and Mr. Turner would reach 25 percent on the second ballot, and a contested primary were occur.
A lot can change here by the time the votes are actually counted, and we will update as appropriate.
Update: Mr. Cox just called for a meeting of the county chairs on the convention floor. We will see what comes out of this.
UPDATE 2X: I’m told from multiple sources that a deal to get all three candidates on the ballot fell through when the Long folks balked, mainly because they believe they can reach 50 percent on the first ballot, or at least get close enough for bragging rights. That said, I’ve been told by several people that if Ms. Long’s effort to reach 50 percent on the first ballot, another deal could be in the offing to get all three candidates on the ballot in the second vote.