Suffolk Co. Exec Steve Levy Mulls Run for Governor Against Paterson

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There's been a lot of talk about Andrew Cuomo challenging Governor Paterson for this year's Democratic nomination, but the attorney general has yet to step up (and Charlie Rangel thinks he won't). So that leaves the field open for Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy, who is summoning an "exploratory committee" for that purpose.

This renders less mysterious the $4 million Levy has collected for campaign purposes, though he is not up for reelection in Suffolk until 2011.

Levy says, " I would be one guy who would turn the state upside down and inside out," which we would think has already been done, but Levy means in a good way: "I would run the state like our families balance their checkbooks, understanding that there must be a bottom line."

The Exec touts his budget-management record, though he is also known for his hard line on illegal immigrants; he has signed legislation to require verification of legal status for all employees in the county, and co-founded something called "Mayors And Executives for Immigration Reform."

This gives him much cred among very conservative New Yorkers ("Communists & Anarchists lash out at Steve Levy for stance on illegal immigrants"), who may blame the state's employment woes on low-paid foreigners. But it remains to be seen how many such people vote in Democratic primaries.

Levy also took a hand in last year's Albany Coup, threatening to sue on behalf of his county to establish a majority leader.

Could it be Levy is just trying to raise his profile, with some other purpose -- electoral or business -- in mind? We won't consider him serious about this until he shaves his mustache.


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