Carl Paladino, now the NY GOP gubernatorial nominee, joins at least five other Republican gubernatorial nominees who ran with Tea Party backing: Dan Maes of Colorado, Rick Scott of Florida, Bill Brady of Illinois, Paul LePage of Maine and Tom Emmer of Minnesota.
Like Christine O’Donnell in Delaware, the GOP Civil War has seriously jeopardized the Republican party’s gubernatorial chances not just in these major states, but also in states where the Tea Party forced the nominee further to the right to secure the win. There are only two types of candidates emerging from the GOP Civil War in governors races: Tea Party-blessed candidates and Tea Party-scarred candidates.
Carl P. Paladino, a Buffalo multimillionaire who jolted the Republican Party with his bluster and belligerence, rode a wave of disgust with Albany to the nomination for governor of New York on Tuesday, toppling Rick A. Lazio, a former congressman who earned establishment support but inspired little popular enthusiasm.
Mr. Paladino became one of the first Tea Party candidates to win a Republican primary for governor, in a state where the Republican Party has historically succeeded by choosing moderates.
The result was a potentially destabilizing blow for New York Republicans. It put at the top of the party’s ticket a volatile newcomer who has forwarded e-mails to friends containing racist jokes and pornographic images, espoused turning prisons into dormitories where welfare recipients could be given classes on hygiene, and defended an ally’s comparison of the Assembly speaker, Sheldon Silver, who is Jewish, to “an Antichrist or a Hitler.”
Yet Mr. Paladino, 64, energized Tea Party advocates and social conservatives with white-hot rhetoric and a damn-the-establishment attitude, promising to “take a baseball bat to Albany” to dislodge the state’s entrenched political class. He also outspent Mr. Lazio, pouring more than $3 million of his fortune into the race, while Mr. Lazio spent just over $2 million.
“We are mad as hell,” Mr. Paladino said in a halting but exuberant victory speech in Buffalo shortly after 11 p.m. “New Yorkers are fed up. Tonight the ruling class knows. They have seen it now. There is a people’s revolution. The people have had enough.”