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Paladino message to Conservative Party: Consider me

Today's meeting of Conservative Party leaders in Brooklyn could prove more interesting than once thought.

That's what happens when a state Republican Party chairman endorses a Democrat for
, which is what state GOP Chairman Edward F. Cox did on Friday.

Also, Republican Carl P. Paladino of Buffalo, who is slated to announce for governor on
April 5, just released a YouTube video asking Conservative leaders to hold off endorsing

"I respectfully urge you to delay any decision by the Conservative Party until you've had a
chance to see how my candidacy unfolds," Paladino said in the video.

The Conservative Party leaders were thought as recently as last week to be ready to endorse
Rick Lazio, the former Long Island congressman and 2000 senatorial candidate. But with
Democrat Steve Levy — the Suffolk county executive — getting support from Cox and Paladino promising to spend up to $10 million of his money on the race, the Conservatives now have

What the Conservatives plan to do in Brooklyn could be known by mid-afternoon.

Erie County Conservative Chairman Ralph C. Lorigo was slated to fly to New York City today
to attend the executive committee meeting and ask for more time in light of the new
candidacies of Levy and Paladino.

Sources close to Lazio, however, said they were "extremely confident" they had the votes to
push through a Lazio endorsement today.

"I'm not a career politician. I'm a businessman," Paladino said in his video message to
Conservatives. "I'm pro-life. I'm pro gun rights. And I oppose gay marriage.

"As governor, I'll slash spending and cut taxes. I'll turn Albany upside down and take out
the trash," he said.

The Republican said he would enter the Republican primary for governor, by petition if

"I'd be honored to be the Conservative Party nominee," Paladino said. "I share all your
values and support your platform 100 percent.

"I'll run hard on the Conservative line in November in the unlikely event I'm not the
Republican nominee."

— Patrick Lakamp

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