New York Democrat Official to Switch Parties; Run for Governor?

Remember back when the Republican party was dead in the northeast? It now appears to be a growth industry:

Albany County Republican Chairman John Graziano called Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy “very, very impressive” and said he would be willing to support the potential Democratic gubernatorial contender – as long as he switches his enrollment to the GOP…

Levy, whose aides have steadfastly refused to confirm or deny reports that he is meeting with GOP leaders, including state Chairman Ed Cox, has run on the GOP and Conservative lines in the past and drawn heated criticism from Latino Democrats for his right-leaning stance on immigration.

The county executive has insisted on numerous occasions that he is open to running on multiple lines if he follows through with his bid for governor, but has no plans to switch his enrollment.

I asked Graziano if the topic of Levy’s enrollment came up last night. He said it did, but declined to reveal what the county executive had said.

“I think it’s unfair of me to tell you; I think that he should tell you,” the chairman said. “But why would he be coming and talking to Republican chairs unless he was interested in getting endorsed as a Republican?”

“You don’t present yourself to people unless you’re asking for something that would be important, or is important, to you. Everyone in that room wants him to become a Republican.”

To borrow a phrase from TOTUS, I want to make something perfectly clear. The fact that Levy is even considering switching parties to seek the governorship is in part a testament to the weakness of the field. That said, Levy has run with Republican endorsements before – as recently as in 2007, in fact. But he would not be considering this bid if he did not see a golden opportunity to win the highest office in the state.

I’ve reached out to some New York sources in an attempt to confirm Levy’s plans. I’ll update if I get confirmation.