NY13 Blog; Retaking NY-13 from Rep. Vito Fossella

Following the corruption, ineffectiveness and hypocrisy of Rep. Vito Fossella.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Does Gulino help a Harrison run?

John Gulino was recently re-elected as Staten Island Democratic Party chairman despite attempts and murmurs that he would face potential powerful challengers, namely Assemblyman Cusick and Councilman McMahon. Both eventually backed down and the party backed Gulino once again;

But simple logistics and basic math also played a role: It's nearly impossible to dislodge a sitting party chairman even if you work the streets to put as many of your own people on county committee as possible. Gulino's supporters had already been working for months to add bodies and shore up his support. [via SI Advance

So Gulino seems to have the upper hand, despite the tone of the article claiming he made many consessions to the party electeds. I mention Harrison out of curiousity, considering right now the three potential candidates are Recchia (McMahon's candidate), Cusick, and Harrison. If Gulino wants to flex some muscle make a point that he is Party chairman throwing support to another Harrison run whether behind the scenes or publicly may prove a point and help solidify his position should Harrison go on to win. It is a risk, but may be necessary if there is a rift between him and the McMahon and Cusick supporters of the party.

Should a Democratic nominee knock off Fossella, they will unofficially become the Party leader in Staten Island in the same way Fossella unofficially holds that title now for Republicans. With that Fossella has hand picked his own supporters for office, consider the backing of Lanza over Helbock;

A victory by Mr. Helbock would have been embarrassing for Mr. Lanza and the ascendant faction headed by Rep. Vito Fossella who have effectively taken over the borough GOP. [via SI Advance

Gulino has to know that his time is potentially limited if a McMahon or Cusick backed candidate can take out Fossella, making him a lame duck even if he continues to retain his current position. He effectively could become irrelevant. So if he wants to become a king maker does he help a candidate such as Harrison get the nomination, essentially pushing all his chips in for the 2008 election? It is risky considering should it backfire he also would be targeted next time around, which he probably already is.

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