The Albany Times-Union is reporting that Mondello has the support of out-going Chairman (and complete failure) Minarik and State Senate Majority Leader Bruno.
Minarik/Bruno Formally Back Mondello
November 13, 2006 at 11:46 am by Elizabeth Benjamin
State GOP Chairman Stephen Minarik and Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, R-Brunswick, have released a joint statement formally announcing their support of Nassau County GOP Chairman Joseph Mondello as Minarik’s replacement at 315 State Street (where Web site updating has clearly not been a top priority since Nov. 7).
Bruno praised Minarik’s work in the chairman’s post since 2004, and said: “We could not have maintained our Republican majority in the state Senate without him.”
Minarik said he is leaving with “mixed emotions,” but knows the party will be “in good hands.”
As for Mondello, Bruno said that “no one is better suited” to lead the party’s rebuilding effort.
“He has lead the Republican Party in Nassau County for over two decades, he is a strong leader with tremendous ability to organize and energize the party in good years and in tough ones,” Bruno said.
“Joe Mondello is clearly the best person to lead the rebuilding of the Republican Party in New York State, to help strengthen our majority in the Senate, add seats in the Assembly, take back seats in Congress and win races at the local level throughout the state.”
Bruno’s selection of Mondello - which is not a done deal and won’t be until the GOP state committee members get together and vote on Nov. 30 - is being viewed in certain circles as a move by the senator to insulate himself from a potential power grab by state Sen. Dean Skelos, a Nassau County Republican who has long coveted the majority leader’s job.
Skelos, I’m told, isn’t even in the state - he’s relaxing in St. Martin and wasn’t planning any immediate coups.
Making Mondello state chairman could also be seen as a win for former U.S. Sen. Alfonse D’Amato, another Long Island Republican.