There is more to the fourth anniversary of the passing (Oct. 18, 2014) of Buffalo’s former Republican State Comptroller Edward V. Regan. He was also a member of the Buffalo Common Council and served as Erie County Executive in the 1970s. It was a time when Republicans could successfully compete with Democrats in Buffalo and statewide including local races within both Erie and Niagara Counties for political office at all levels of government.
Fast forward to today. Democrats currently hold all statewide offices. The last Republican Senator was Alfonse D’Amato. He lost his seat to Democrat Charles Schumer in 1998. The last Republican state comptroller. Regan won his final term in 1990. The last Republican state attorney general, Dennis Vacco, served only one term, winning in 1994. The last Republican to win any statewide office was former Gov. George Pataki. His final term began in 2002. Since then, no Republican has been successful in winning any statewide office. This trend will continue beyond the 2018 November General Election. Empire State Republicans must begin to expand beyond its ever shrinking base.
According to the New York State Board of Elections, as of April 2018 there are 11,303,448 active registered voters. This includes 5,621,811 Democrats, 2,632,341 Republicans, 145,421 Conservatives, 436,212 Independence, 41,019 Working Families 26,462 Green, 4,374 Women’s Equity. 1,802 Reform, 6,463 Other and 2,387,443 Blank (no declared party).
The GOP will only be able to win any future statewide public office by appealing to new, under 30, unaffiliated and moderate Democrat voters as did its ancestors with candidate in the tradition of the late Ned Regan.