Trouble in Conservative Party Land
Rep. James Walsh has lost the endorsement of the Conservative Party in Monroe and Wayne counties for the 2008 election - the first major political fallout from his decision to stop supporting the war in Iraq.
If other county parties and the state party ultimately agree, Walsh stands to lose the Conservative line in the 25th Congressional District. He has run on the Conservative line each of his 10 terms in Congress.
Walsh, R-Onondaga, has always received the vast majority of his votes on the Republican line. But the 11,634 votes he received on Conservative lines last November was enough to make the difference in the closest election of his congressional career. Walsh defeated Democrat Dan Maffei, of DeWitt, in 2006 by about 3,000 votes; the Iraq war was the dominant issue.
This is a hit Jim can't afford to take. Not that we should start counting our chickens before they hatch though, the individual endorsements of the county Conservative Parties don't actually determine the candidate. Ultimately, in any race that crosses county lines, the final decision on the Conservative Party's endorsement falls to the State Chair, Mike Long. While he will take the opinions of the County Committees, the decision is his, and until he shows movement on this, I wouldn't take this talk too serious. And still, Walsh has already bought of the Onondaga County Independence Party chair, and in the Independence Party, the county that supplied the largest vote in the last Governors race determines the candidate.