Carl Paladino takes tea party to Andrew Cuomo in NY governor race
Carl Paladino, a millionaire Buffalo developer, rode a wave of conservative tea party anger on his way to delivering another blow to the GOP in a heavily Democratic state. Paladino takes on Andrew Cuomo in the November election.
Tea party activist Carl Paladino wasted no time in setting his sights on Democrat Andrew Cuomo after confounding pundits and rolling over the leaders of New York's Republican and Conservative parties with a stunning win in the GOP primary for governor.Skip to next paragraph
Gallery Primary Day 09/14
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"Andrew Cuomo has to answer to the people," Paladino said Tuesday after defeating Republican Party designee Rick Lazio, a former congressman. Cuomo "is going to have to debate me. I'll debate him 49 days if there are 49 days between now and then."
"He was never vetted. He came in on Spitzer's coattails," Paladino said, referring to former Gov. Eliot Spitzer, who resigned in disgrace following a prostitution scandal after he led the 2006 Democratic ticket that included Cuomo as the attorney general nominee.
Paladino says he will succeed in fixing Albany's corruption and dysfunction because he's not a professional politician. Paladino is one of several candidates that received a boost from tea party activists in this 2010 primary.
"They brought with them a desire to keep holding office. This is the first and last time I'm going to run for elected office," he said, repeating his promise to serve one four-year term.
Cuomo, the one-term attorney general who also was a private-sector lawyer, secretary of housing in the Clinton administration and an aide to his father, former Gov. Mario Cuomo, didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
"I'm against career politicians because they've put the state in the disarray that it's in right now," said Rod Tobin, 64, a Buffalo Republican. "If people have run a business before or know how to manage an operation, I think they're better to handle things than the politicians today are running it."
With 89 percent of precincts reporting, Paladino had 63 percent of the vote to Lazio's 37 percent.
Paladino, a millionaire Buffalo developer, rode a wave of voter anger on his way to delivering another blow to the GOP in a heavily Democratic state.
There was a deafening cheer in his Buffalo headquarters when it was announced that The Associated Press had called the race for Paladino, 64, who promises to "take a baseball bat" to dysfunctional government in Albany.
"If we've learned anything tonight, it's that New Yorkers are mad as hell, and we're not going to take it anymore!" Paladino said. "The people have spoken."
He then welcomed Republicans who opposed him to join "the peoples' crusade ... New Yorkers are fed up. Tonight the ruling class has seen it now ... there is a peoples' revolution."