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Republicans have a lot to sort out

December 5, 2018 12:15 am

It must be difficult for the Republicans of the 19th Congressional District to wrap their minds around the defeat of U.S. Rep. John Faso after only one term in office. Faso, after all, is Kinderhook’s favorite son and an ambitious politician who served as an assemblyman, ran for governor against Eliot Spitzer and challenged H. Carl McCall for the state comptroller’s office.

As local and state Republicans regroup, there is buzz that the state Republican Committee might dump Chairman Edward Cox and replace him with Faso.

Republican leaders immediately quashed the rumors.

“I think it is premature to comment on this,” Greene County Republican Party Chairman Brent Bogardus said about the potential ousting of Cox. “No one has had any conversation with me about this — no one from the committee or Ed Cox himself.”

Faso’s defeat was among the major setbacks suffered by the Republican Party in November, at all levels. Five other high-profile GOP candidates — Marc Molinaro, Julie Killian, Jonathan Trichter, Keith Wofford and Chele Farley — lost their races.

“The candidates chosen back in May were solid candidates,” Bogardus said. “The state committee tries to provide resources, but campaigns have to be run on their own.”

Faso’s name has come up as a possible successor to Cox, but Faso’s staff isn’t putting any stock in the report. “I’d simply say there’s nothing to the story,” Faso spokesman Joe Gierut said. “It’s pure speculation.”

If there is a takeaway from the Republicans’ showing (and there were many triumphs on election night), it’s that rumors of disarray in the party’s leadership are premature. State Republican Committee spokeswoman Jessica Proud said Cox is committed to his job and intends to run again. But the sort of speculation we’re hearing generally doesn’t arise spontaneously. Politics is a dicey business. The old order could be in for a change.