Republican U.S. Senate hopeful Joe Carvin shouldn't expect an endorsement from Franklin County Republican Chairman Jim Ellis anytime soon.
Carvin, the supervisor of the town of Rye in Westchester County, is one of three Republican challengers to U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y. New York City lawyer Wendy Long and Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos are the others.
In a letter sent to GOP county chairs across the state, Ellis, of Tupper Lake, said he's uncommitted at this point in the race. But he said Carvin, who is also a hedge fund trader, has views more in line with President Barack Obama than with conservative Republicans.
Jim Ellis, chairman, Franklin County Republican Committee
(Enterprise file photo)
"He supports abortion rights," Ellis wrote, "which I do not and can not support; he has not voted in any Republican Primary and he stands a good chance of being questioned on his investment company.
"With just a few days until our nominating convention we can't afford to nominate a candidate who is out of step on the issues that matter and questionable on the performance we need."
Ellis wrote that Maragos and Long are both candidates who can "unite the Republicans and the Conservative efforts in New York State."
In an email to the Enterprise, Carvin's spokesman, Bill O'Reilly (not the Fox News television commentator), said it's "preposterous" to suggest that Carvin isn't a conservative Republican.
"Mr. Carvin is a staunch fiscal conservative, and he backs it up with action," O'Reilly said. "No town supervisor in New York has governed more conservatively. He slashed spending by 25 percent in Rye and is working to dissolve the town - and his job - to save taxpayer money."
O'Reilly said Carvin donated to both Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney in the 2008 presidential primary. He added that Carvin "strongly opposes" late-term abortions and is a firm believer in former President Ronald Reagan's "peace through strength" foreign policy.
O'Reilly also noted that Carvin speaks five languages and is fluent in Spanish. He said that "makes him more valuable as a candidate in espousing the Republican message to groups Republicans should be talking to."
Ellis told the Enterprise that members of the Franklin County Republican Committee are free to disagree with him on Carvin, but he can't support him.
Ray Scollin, the Republican state committeeman for Franklin County said he doesn't disagree with Ellis when it comes to Carvin.
"Maragos and Long have been really good candidates," Scollin added.
Meanwhile, the state Republican Party will hold its nominating convention March 16 in Rochester. Ellis said the meeting is being held early because petitions for congressional candidates need to be circulated ahead of the June 26 primary.
Ellis said committee members will meet after the state convention to discuss the candidates running for New York's 23rd Congressional District seat currently held by U.S. Rep. Bill Owens, D-Plattsburgh. That meeting is set for March 20.
"Whether or not we decided to endorse will depend on the feeling of the executive committee," Ellis said.
Scollin, a Doheny supporter, said he feels strongly the committee should announce its endorsement sooner rather than later.