Will an effort by New York City’s five Republican County chairs to avoid a mayoral primary by uniting behind a single mayoral candidate succeed? It’s possible, but some of the county chairs are publicly skeptical. Beyond the initial challenge of agreeing on a single candidate, should such agreement occur the county chairs and organizations can’t prevent other candidates from running. They can cajole, try to convince and pressure candidates, but candidates will have the opportunity to petition on to the primary ballot regardless of county organization preferences.
Queens County Chairman Bob Turner expressed that view tonight, affirming that the county chairs would like to unite but acknowledging that it’s beyond their direct power. In a brief conversation last night Brooklyn County Chairman Ted Ghorra similarly lauded the goal of uniting but expressed doubt about it happening and emphasized the importance of voters having a chance to hear from all interested candidates. In late January and early February Manhattan County Chairwoman Adele Malpass expressed more enthusiasm for the effort, saying she was hopeful that it would conclude by late March or early April.
Turner told me tonight that he will “probably” personally endorse a mayoral candidate and that he expects to do so in about two weeks. He would not say who he’ll support but it’s my guess (and that’s really just a guess) that he’ll go with Paul Massey.
Video – Here’s what Turner had to say following a Paul Massey appearance at the Queens Village Republican Club: