After accepting the designation of the GOP to become Rick Lazio’s LG running mate, Chautauqua County Greg Edwards took to the convention stage and delivered a speech that was unusually devoid of red meat – the traditional role of the No. 2. candidate.

In fact, Edwards reserved some of his sharpest criticism for members of his own party – without naming names – who had pressured county chairs in advance of yesterday’s governor vote.

Edwards told of one chairman (he didn’t reveal his name, but did say he “wasn’t the way I would have voted”) who was in a room “until 4:30 in the morning” with “sharks” circling him and “counting on him to have his back break.”

He compared this incident to “waterboarding.”

The chairman didn’t change his vote, according to Edwards, who also told of a convention delegate who received a phone call from a “very influential person” asking her to abandon Lazio. She did not.

Edwards did condemn the Democrats in a general way, accusing them of over-spending and over-taxing and turning state government into a joke for late-night TV, adding: “All over upstate, we stopped laughing long ago.”

The closest Edwards got to slamming the Democratic gubernatorial nominee was an oblique reference to his long-standing ties to the Albany establishment and a note that the budget has grown by $108 billion since his father, former Gov. Mario Cuomo, first took office in the early 1980s.

The LG also said the Democrats are “scared to death” the Republicans will be joined by the “masses of people who have had enough.”