Rockland County, Sept 15 — Rockland County Republicans followed the lead of GOP faithful across the state choosing Tea Party Conservative Carl Palladino over party pick Rick Lazio as candidate for governor. Across the state, Palladino lead Lazio 64 to 36 percent with three quarters of the ballots counted.
In Rockland County it was much closer: Palladino garnered just over half of the Republican primary votes. About 44 percent went for Lazio with write-in candidates getting six percent of the votes. Palladino will face Democratic gubernatorial nominee Andrew Cuomo in the November general election.
Although it’s tempting to generalize about electorate anger and Tea Party strength from these results, only a small percentage of the electorate turned out for yesterday’s primary. Only 5,017 Republicans in Rockland voted in yesterday’s primary.
Rockland County Republican Chairman Vincent Reda says the primary process was too confusing for GOP voters to follow. “We very, very rarely have primaries,” Reda told the Albany Times Union. “I for one am very much against primaries. I find them very divisive.” Reda says the low turnout occured because party voters are unaccustomed to primaries. “Republicans just aren’t used to primaries. People are confused, they’re getting mail from different directions, and that’s why they need the party organizations to set them straight and point them toward the endorsed candidates,” he said.