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Monday, October 23, 2006

Republicans for Spitzer

You love me

A Secret Divide in a G.O.P. Stronghold

Published: October 23, 2006

WINDSOR, N.Y. — In Broome County, a largely rural patch of upstate New York, registered Republicans outnumber Democrats, particularly in the rolling hills around Binghamton. This is a part of the state that is closer to Scranton, Pa., than to Manhattan, culturally as well as geographically, where people bowl, decorate their mailboxes to look like tractors and mention with pride that their county was once home to Randall Terry, the anti-abortion activist.

Yet here, in a place where many think Republican, residents talk of voting for Eliot Spitzer, a Democrat, for governor.

Kevin Cole, 43, cannot remember the last time he voted for a Democrat. But he said he was leaning toward voting for Mr. Spitzer over former Assemblyman John Faso, Mr. Spitzer’s Republican rival. Mr. Cole, a Republican who lives in Chenango and helps run a family-owned trucking company, said what appealed to him about Mr. Spitzer was his prosecutions as attorney general of Wall Street and insurance industry executives.

“He’s done quite well with buttoning down on crime and not being afraid to go after people who are really ripping off the general public,” Mr. Cole said. “It’s very hard for me to go against the grain, but at this point in time I give Spitzer high marks. He’s not afraid to stick his neck out.”

About 20 miles away, in Windsor, Helen Osborne, 88, lives on Main Street, a few doors down from McBride’s Restaurant and Pub, where the owner, Lawrence McBride, keeps an anti-Kerry sign and a Rush Limbaugh videotape behind the bar. Though she said she usually votes Republican, Mrs. Osborne is thinking about supporting Mr. Spitzer.

“I just like the way he acts,” said Mrs. Osborne, the town historian. “I haven’t seen the other guy. I don’t even know what he looks like.”

In the final weeks before the Nov. 7 election, Mrs. Osborne and Mr. Cole illustrate the degree to which Mr. Spitzer has made inroads among Republican voters. In interviews with dozens of Republicans in Broome County, a large number said they would vote for Mr. Spitzer or were considering it. These Republicans and others around the state have become not so much swing voters in a tight race, but silent supporters joining what polls suggest is a groundswell of Republican support for the attorney general’s bid to become governor.

Some believe Mr. Spitzer will tackle fraud and waste in Albany with the same zeal that he pursued white-collar crime on Wall Street. Some have been unimpressed with Mr. Faso or know little about his message or ideas. Others say they are drawn to Mr. Spitzer out of frustration with their party and the three terms of Republican leadership under Gov. George E. Pataki. A few even said they were using their vote for Mr. Spitzer to send a message to the Bush administration about their unease over the war in Iraq.

This could kill the NY GOP. All it takes is a couple of Senate Seats for the dems to control everything. Not that there's anything wrong with that

posted by Steve @ 1:04:00 AM

1:04:00 AM

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