Popular N.Y. Dem switching parties to run for Gov. 

Steve Levy, a county executive from Long Island, has announced he's renouncing his membership in the Democratic party to run for Governor of New York as a Republican:

The move is certain to excite Republican leaders pessimistic about their party’s hopes this fall.

Those leaders believe that the official, Steve Levy, a blunt-spoken fiscal hawk and contrarian who collected 96 percent of the vote in his last re-election bid, can tap into the public’s anti-incumbent sentiment and frustration with Albany’s overspending.

Mr. Levy, 50, the Suffolk County executive, said he wanted voters to see him as “Scott Brown II,” referring to the Massachusetts senator who pulled off an upset against a heavily favored Democrat in January.

“There really seems to be a void out there that I can fit perfectly,” Mr. Levy said, describing Albany’s political culture as a “cesspool.”

“We’ve got to clean house, tear that place down and build it back in a cleaner, more efficient manner,” he added.

Former GOP Rep. Rick Lazio has been running for the office since last fall, and any of the bigger names that were interested in running for the GOP nomination, such as Rep. Peter King, have backed off. This is a very interesting development for Republicans.

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Mark Hemingway

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