Rick Lazio entered the race for Governor of New York on Tuesday, promising to stay in the race even if Republican powerhouse Rudy Giuliani jumps in.
Lazio announced his candidacy at a series of press conferences across the state.
He called the state Legislature “a disgrace”, called for the Senate and Assembly to be merged into a single body, and urged a Constitutional Convention to rewrite the rules under which lawmakers operate.
Lazio was last seen Upstate in 2000 when he ran against Hillary Rodham Clinton for the open seat in the US Senate. He was soundly beaten, 55% to 43%. Lazio was the last-minute replacement for Giuliani, who dropped out early in the campaign because of personal scandals.
A new poll from Siena College, released Tuesday, finds Lazio in a familiar spot. If the Democrats run Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, Lazio trails by nearly 50 percentage points. Lazio, still relatively unknown to many voters, even trails unpopular Gov. David Paterson, 39% to 35%. Siena found that Giuliani would trounce Paterson but lose to Cuomo if the election were held today.
Giuliani has put off a decision about whether to run for the Governor’s office until after the November elections.