Conservative Party bristles at GOP nominee in NY special

It sounds like the Republican nominee in the upcoming New York special election can pretty much forget about the Conservative Party endorsement.

Less than 24 hours after she was named the party's candidate, there has already been much made about Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava (R) socially liberal positions on abortion and gay marriage, but New York Conservative Party Chairman Mike Long said it goes beyond even that.

He noted that she scored a 15 out of 100 on the party's conservative rankings recently, while liberal icon and Democratic state House Speaker Sheldon Silver scored a 10.

"While she is a pleasant person, philosophically it's a very, very difficult lift for the party leaders to move in that direction," Long said, noting that he had talked to many party leaders about her.

Long said that state Sen. Darrel Aubertine, a centrist who is the favorite for the Democratic nomination in the race, actually has a more palatable record than Scozzafava.

He noted that the party has been disappointed in Aubertine's votes on tax issues, but he wouldn't rule out endorsing Aubertine either.

"He is pro-life, from my understanding, and he is for the sanctity of marriage," Long said. "But on the issues of taxes and spending, he went down the wrong road."

Long promised that the Conservative Party would run a candidate in the special election. He noted that party activist Jim Kelly has shown interest in running.