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Miner for governor

SAM Party gubernatorial candidate Stephanie Miner talks with the Enterprise in August 2018. (Enterprise photo — Peter Crowley)

Stephanie Miner has gotten little statewide attention in this year’s New York governor race. She just doesn’t have the money, widespread party machinery and aggressiveness to break through. And that’s too bad, because we are convinced that she is the best candidate for the job this year.

If you met her and interviewed her, as we did, we think you would agree. She is qualified and sensible, full of integrity and long ago rose above the muck of dominant-party power politics, in which Gov. Andrew Cuomo thrives. She was term-limited out as mayor of Syracuse, one of the state’s major cities, and before that served on the city council. She can come to Albany with an outsider’s view, which is essential these days. And while she knows state government well, she would be beholden to neither party, which would be very refreshing.

We also interviewed Libertarian candidate Larry Sharpe, and we loved hearing his ideas and absorbing his energy. A few of his proposals might work well and should be tried, but most of them are never going to come to fruition in this state. Most New Yorkers don’t want to sell major bridges to McDonald’s, although they may want to get rid of job licensing requirements — why do barbers need state licenses, for instance? — and other anachronistic business obstacles. Larry Sharpe, or someone like him, needs a seat at the table in state government, for the sake of checks and balances and the health of our republic, but we don’t see an idea man being the right choice for chief executive.

We haven’t interviewed the other candidates, but we have read extensively about Republican Marc Molinaro and Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins, and of course we are very familiar with Cuomo.

Our incumbent governor is too close to corruption, too micromanaging and too hyper-competitive for us to endorse him. It’s sad, because he has a great head for government and force of will to get things done for the people — but he needs the humility to focus on serving them instead of obsessing over his personal and partisan goals. Two terms for him is enough for us.

Molinaro has the potential to be like George Pataki, a governor we liked in many ways. As much as Cuomo tries to connect Molinaro to President Donald Trump, Molinaro is nothing of the kind. Surprisingly, he refused to answer in a debate Tuesday whether he upports Trump, but in the past he has said he did not vote for him in 2016, instead writing in former Rep. Chris Gibson — a good man, in our view.

We also respect that Molinaro, like Miner, has a full career in local government and not in Albany, and therefore understands upstate New York from the ground up.

But while Molinaro is not a Trump-ite, he would come with a party agenda and a raft of allies. If there were no better alternative, we would probably be OK with such a changing of the guard, but there is another option.

Miner struck us as being reasonable, trying to simply do government well, solve problems and not get distracted. She is a former Democrat running with a Republican mayor for lieutenant governor, backed by a startup party (Serve America Movement) full of disaffected Republicans and Democrats. She seemed to us like a leader a wide variety of New Yorkers could get to know, like and respect.

But first we have to spread the word. She has only the slimmest chance of winning this race — no chance, many would say — because so few people have met her. But having met her, we cannot help but give her our support.

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