Tuesday, January 26, 2010

2010 GOP Hopefuls: Marcus Molinaro

Marcus J. Molinaro will start his third term in the New York State Assembly from the 103rd Assembly District this year. Molinaro has been active in Republican politics since he was 18 years old, first running for Tivoli Villiage Board of Trustees in 1994. In 1995, Molinaro became the youngest Mayor in United States. He was reelected five times. As Mayor, he cut property taxes while still improving the quality of public services and improving the roads in Tivoli. After his five terms, Molinaro ran for Dutchess County Council and won. He was reelected three times. While on the county council, Molinaro managed the county's $300 million budget adoption process and pushed for tax cuts. He was ambitious and it became very aparant in 2006.

In 2006, the 103rd Assembly District was represented by Pat Manning. In 2006, Manning had decided to run for Governor of New York. He had surged amongst conservatives who viewed him as one of their own. Standing at nearly seven feet tall, Manning was an imposing figure. He ran on a platform of family values and traditional conservatism. What conservatives throughout New York didn't know, was that Manning had been carrying on an affair on his wife for years with an aide. When the details of his divorve became very public, Manning dropped out of the race for Governor and went back to the 103rd Assembly District hoping that he could run for reelection. It was too late, though, because Mr. Molinaro had already stepped up to the plate.

Molinaro primaried Manning for the Republican line, he had already received the Conservative Party line. During the campaign the incumbent showed his true colors -- trying to impersonate Molinaro in order to steal the results for internal polling that Molinaro had paid for. Manning failed at pretending to be Molinaro on the phone and Molinaro just released the results. Manning was losing.

Molinaro beat Manning in the primary and won the general election. He won reelection in 2008 with the endorsement of every major third party.

Since serving in the Assembly, Molinaro has been a consistent opponent of wasteful and excessive spending. He received a 64% from the Conservative Party of New York in 2007 and has an F for New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, a generally left leaning group in support of gun control legislation. Molinaro represents the type of conservatism that is appealing in New York.

Molinaro lives in the 20th District of New York and apparently has been approached to be a potential candidate in 2010. NY-20 was represented by Republicans for a long time until 2006 during the big Democratic Congressional wave. In 2006, the current Junior Senator from New York, Democrat Kirstin Gillibrand was elected over former Congressman and noted alcoholic Republican John Sweeney. In 2008, Gillibrand won with a sizable margin against the former NYS Secretary of State. In the 2009 special election, a small margin divided Democratic unknown Scott Murphy from former NYS Assembly Minority Leader Jim Tedisco. The election was noted by a LOT of negative attacks from the NRCC which helped build the name recognition against the unknown Murphy. Hopefully the GOP has learned from their mistakes and 2010 is a year where this district can be retaken.

I hope that Assemblyman Molinaro strongly considers a bid against Scott Murphy. Murphy is considered a vulnerable incumbent and in a solidly Republican year in a Republican leaning district, having a good candidate to challenge him is a must. Molinaro would be beyond that, he would be a great candidate. He's young, he's experienced, he understands the importance of using modern social media, and his platform is spot on for the district.

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