Tag Archives: Dean Skellos

Who Can Win a U.S. Senate Seat For Republicans In New York?

Bookmark and Share    In 2010, along with a race for Governor, New York will be electing two United States Senators.  Chuck Schumer’s term is up and a special election to fill the remainder of Hillary Clinton’s unexpired term will also be held. Currently Ronald Lauder For Senatethe seat is occupied by Kristen Gillibrand, an Upstate Congresswoman who Governor David Paterson appointed to fill the seat until the 2010 special election is held. Unless a very possible primary challenge to Gillibrand materializes, she should be the Democrat nominee for the seat.

As for Chuck Schumer, he will certainly be renominated by state Democrats, even if he is challenged for the nomination. Any opposition to Schumer in a Democrat primary will be token at most.

Less definite right now though, are the strong candidacies of any two viable Republican nominees to run against either Schumer or Gillibrand. Former Governor George Pataki is considering running for one seat and the state’s other most prominent Republican, Rudy Giuliani is mulling over a run for Governor. So at the moment, both Republican U.S. Senate nominations have no viable, declared candidates as of yet. And even if George Pataki does decide to take the plunge and run, that still leaves the other nomination open.

Although there are many good New York Republicans that could make great United States Senators, none other than Rudy and Pataki,really have the name ID and financial resources to make a truly competitive run for it. People like Republican Senate Leader Dean Skelos is one person certainly good enough for the job . Long Island Congressman Peter King is another name but after citing his own inability to raise the kind of money needed to be successful, he recently announced that he will not be a candidate for the U.S. Senate.

There are several other names with the ability but a lack of either name ID or campaign financing abilities or both. So what are New York Republicans to do?

I think the state G.O.P. should recruit a man who could just make things interesting. Very interesting. He has campaign experience, conservative credentials and deep pockets. His name is Ronald Lauder.

Ron Lauder is the son of Estee Lauder, the founder and creator of famed Estee Lauder Cosmetics. Initially schooled in the U.S., he attended the Bronx High School of Science and went on to graduate from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania where he earned a Bachelors degree in International Businesss. Soon after, he took up study at the University of Paris and the University of Brussels where he received a Certificate in International Business.

Lauder began working in and on the family business in 1964 but by 1984, studies, interests and eventually experience in other areas propelled him to a position in The Pentagon as a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for European and NATO policy.

In 1986 he became the U.S. Ambassador to Austria and in 1989 Ron Lauder ran for the Republican nomination for Mayor of New York City. In a city which is overwhelmingly democratic, that nomination usually isn’t a hard fought one to get but in 1989 a young prosecutor by the name of Rudy Giuliani was also running.

Rudy was well known but his policies were not and with Ron Lauder in the race, Rudy was forced to make his positions clear and earn every vote from  New York Republicans  for the right to run as their nominee. Ultimately Giuliani won but in that race, Ron Lauder introduced many innovative policy alternatives for New York City.

Since then, Ronald has continued with his civic minded service to New York. He became Chairman of New Yorkers for Term Limits and in 1993 he led the successful term limits referendum campaign in New York City, which at the time was one of the most significant achievements in the national term limits movement. In 1994, Ronald waged successful term limits campaigns in 11 other towns across the New York State. And in 1996, he again won at the ballot box, successfully turning back an effort by incumbent politicians to repeal New York City’s term limits law.

Beyond his civic political activities, Lauder is a patron of the arts and a leading figure in the recovery of lost art from the Nazi period. This mission stems from Lauder’s deep commitment to his heritage. It is a commitment that has earned him leadership in several national and international Jewish organizations, including his election to President of the World Jewish Congress, a position he won by a large margin in a race against several other leading world figures.  As WJC President, he has met with a number of heads of state and governments, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Pope Benedict XVI, the President of Italy, and the leaders of Hungary, Austria and Switzerland.

In addition to his commitment to Jewish causes Lauder has an innovative network of business enterprises in a mosaic of philanthropic and professional endeavors that reaches around the world and through it, he is dedicated to long-term, free market investment in Eastern Europe and former Soviet countries as they continue to emerge from communism.

In truth, there is a great deal more that is worthy of mention when it comes to Ron Lauder’s achievements and humanitarian efforts. Too much to actually detail here in full. But suffice it to say, from the establishment of a foundation that makes student exchange programs possible, to the construction of educational institutions, and everything else already mentioned, Ron Lauder has a record that surpasses the accomplishments of either Chuck Schumer or Kirsten Gillibrand. It is also a record that is likely to be unsurpassed by many other potential Republican candidates for senate.

If the New York G.O.P. really wants to make a run for at least one of the two senate seats up for grabs in 2010, if they can get Ronald Lauder, they could have a shot.  With Lauder they’ll have a candidate that has established relationships with world leaders, experience in foreign affairs and defense policy,  campaign experience, strong conservative credentials, and a  knowledge of and appreciation for free markets. He also has a heart of gold and pockets lined with gold too.  It should also be noted that as a leading Jewish figure, Ron Lauder could make significant inroads with the Jewish community which is a substantial core constituency of the New York Democratic Party.  But beyond his appeal to constituencies that normally vote Democrat, Lauder is one of the few Republicans who would not have a  problem raising the money for a competitive race and his wealth of experience and resume would make him one of the most knowledgeable and formidable candidates that Republicans could run for senate in any state.

Given all that, I can also tell you this. Ronald Lauder is tenacious but compassionate. He is sensible and studious and he is not a man who can be bought. He has no reason to sell out on any issue and he doesn’t need to make a name for himself.

I know.

Ron Lauder’s run for Mayor back in 1989 was the very first campaign I was hired to work on and having worked with Mr. Lauder I got to appreciate him both as a candidate and a New Yorker.

Running against Rudy was a tough first time race to be in but Ron Lauder proved to me then, that a man who stands up for his principles never loses. In that race, Rudy may have won the nomination, but Ron Lauder won a special place in my heart and earned my respect . New York Republicans would be wise to get Ron Lauder to carry their banner and New York State would be lucky to have him represent them in the United States Senate.

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