Queens Democrat Eyes Mayoral Run as a Republican

By Nigel Chiwaya on August 2, 2012 11:20am 

QUEENS — State Sen. Malcolm Smith is looking to looking to follow Mayor Michael Bloomberg in more ways than one.

Smith, the former Democratic Majority Leader of the state senate, is contemplating a run for mayor next year, but on the Republican party ticket.

The pol, has been in talks with GOP leaders, including state party chairman Ed Cox, about the possibility of such a bid, the New York Post reported.

Bloomberg, who Smith is looking to replace, switched parties to run as a Republican candidate in 2001 and is now a registered Independent.

According to the Post, under state law Smith can run as a Republican without changing his party affiliation as long as he gets approval from three of the city's five Republican county leaders.

Smith, 55, represents southeast Queens and the Rockaways in the state senate and breaks from other Democrats as an advocate of controversial NYPD policy stop-and-frisk, which he called "undoubtedly effective" in a July 5 op-ed in the Post.

GOP leaders, however, do not appear to be very interested in Smith, the paper said.

Staten Island party chairman Bob Scarmardella told the Post that it would take "a lot of convincing" to support the Democrat, and Brooklyn leader Craig Eaton said he "would never be interested in having him on the line."

Smith however, seems undeterred, and plans to meet with all five county republican leaders, telling the Post: "Their support is paramount to making my candidacy happen."

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