State Conservative Party Chairman Michael Long has a plea to Reform Party Chairman and radio talk show host Curtis Sliwa—if you really want to defeat Cuomo in November, work with the Conservative and Republican parties.
“I know Curtis doesn’t like Andrew Cuomo; the best way to dethrone him is to form a coalition with the Conservative party and Republican party,” Long said.
The Reform Party has been considering a number of candidates, including former Erie County Executive Joel Giambra, who last week ended his bid for the Republican nomination after acknowledging he had no support from party leadership but said he would consider running on as a independent.
"I ultimately want to see the best or strongest candidate against Andrew Cuomo," Long said. "I think he’s beatable."
But Long fears a separate Reform Party candidate could siphon needed votes from someone running jointly on the Republican and Conservative lines.
“It only feeds the theory (Giambra) was a stalking horse for the governor,” Long said of Giambra’s decision to continue a run. “There is no path for victory for him whatsoever.”
Long said he has no plans at this time to reach out directly to Sliwa.
He said it's not his role to get involved in another party's nominating process.
"I'm sure Curtis feels (having Giambra or a separate candidate) is the way to get the 50,000 votes for his party (needed to maintain an automatic ballot line for the next four years)," Long said. "I'm not sure he's going to accomplish that (with Giambra)."
But he quickly added that "clearly, I believe the smartest political move for him is to form a coalition to have a united front against Andrew Cuomo, who I know for a fact Curtis feels has done the wrong thing for the state of New York."
BY KENNETH LOVETT
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS