There are three Republican candidates interested in running for State Sen. Suzi Oppenheimer’s seat, but the Senate GOP appear unwilling to wait and see who emerges from a potential primary before picking a horse.
On Feb. 6, the Senate Republican Campaign Committee transferred $8,400 into the campaign account of Republican businessman Bob Cohen, who was the SRCC-backed candidate in 2010, when he narrowly lost to Oppenheimer.
Since Oppenheimer announced her retirement, two other Republican candidate have declared an interest. On Feb. 3, reports emerged that Eastchester town supervisor Anthony Colavita, a strong possible candidate, was interested. Notably, the SRCC made its donation to Cohen three days after that, according to campaign finance records.
On Feb. 9, Diane DiDonato-Roth, a realtor and member of the North Castle Town Council in Westchester County, registered a campaign committee.
Nick Reisman of Capital Tonight speculated that the Republicans drew the district so favorably that it had sparked interest from multiple candidates. Still, it’s not totally surprising that Senate Republicans would back Cohen early, given his name recognition from 2010 and the fact that he can self-fund some of his race. His communications consultant is Bill O’Reilly, who doubles as spokesman for the state GOP.
In 2010, the Senate Republicans picked sides in several primaries, with very mixed success. The SRCC savaged then Assemblyman Greg Ball in a Republican primary, only to turn around that back him for his winning general election bid, which ultimately ended up giving Republicans control of the Senate.
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