By Robert J. McCarthy
Republican Sergio R. Rodriguez knows write-in campaigns rarely succeed in New York State politics.
But the Buffalo mayoral hopeful said on Tuesday he will nevertheless mount an effort to obtain the Independence line for the November general election after party leaders said they will support Democrat Byron W. Brown for a third term.
"It's disappointing that control of the
Independence Party line lies in the hands of a single man: Frank S.
MacKay," Rodriguez said of the state chairman. "Over the past few months my campaign has
made numerous attempts to reach out to the out-of-town Independence Party
chairman to no avail.
"Back room political deals like this are why people have lost faith in the political system," he added.
Rodriguez may recall that what is known as an "opportunity to ballot" in the limited universe of a minor party stands a better chance than in a major party. Republican Kevin J. Helfer, for example, challenged endorsed candidate Brown in 2005 and snared the Conservative line through a write-in campaign.
Rodriguez also may realize that new voting machines make writing in a candidate's name a far less cumbersome process than on the old lever machines.
The effort should prove an early test of the effectiveness of the Rodriguez organization.