Ed Cox

New York GOP 2016 Convention Will Be In Buffalo

The New York State Republican Committee will hold its 2016 convention in Buffalo. The convention is scheduled for March 4th and will be in one of the city’s newest buildings, HARBORCENTER, which is connected to First Niagara Center.

GOP Chairman Ed Cox will be at Erie County Republican Headquarters, Tuesday at 11 a.m., to make the announcement. The committee will name its candidate for U.S. Senate during the convention.

The party has typically held the convention downstate although in 2012 it was in Rochester when Wendy Long was selected as the candidate to run against Kirsten Gillibrand.

Cox Talks Trump, Israel Seat And State Senate

New York Republican Chairman Ed Cox isn’t concerned with the effect Donald Trump could have on down-ballot candidates as a potential general election nominee, saying the businessman will “do what it takes to win.”

“He’s a businessman, he wants to win. He will do what it takes to win,” Cox said. “If he’s our general candidate, you bet he’ll be talking about things in a different way, a more refined way, it could actually work here in New York.”

Republicans in New York running in local elections, especially in Democratic pockets, already face an uphill climb given that, historically, Democratic voters turn out in greater numbers in presidential election years.

Democrats hoping to recapture control of the state Senate are eager to have Hillary Clinton at the top of a ticket, which could further drive out Democratic votes.

Even before the general election, Senate Republicans face a likely special election to fill the seat vacated by former Majority Leader Dean Skelos, who was convicted on corruption charges last month.

Cox was bullish on the chances of the Nassau County district being a Republican hold, despite the Democrats’ enthusiasm for likely candidate Todd Kaminsky, a state assemblyman and former federal prosecutor.

“I see no reason why a good Republican candidate cannot win Dean Skelos’s seat in Nassau County,” Cox said.

But the picture could get more complicated for the Senate GOP should Sen. Jack Martins run to fill the vacancy being created by the retirement of Democratic Rep. Steve Israel. Martins’s district has seen some closely fought electoral contests in recent cycles.

Cox said the decision for who will run for Israel’s seat will be hope to the country chairs. The House district spans three counties.

“The county chairs are talking among themselves to decide the best candidate going forward and that’s what’s going to happen,” he said. “In the end this is a decision of our county chairs and in the past they’ve done a very good job of it.”

Cox Berates Cuomo Over $15 Minimum Wage

New York Republican Chairman Ed Cox berated Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday over his proposed increase in the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour, calling the governor’s claims over the need for the increase a “big lie” and politically motivated.

“This is about his political problems,l” Cox told reporters while making the rounds at the Capitol on Wednesday, the first day of the legislative session in Albany. “It’s not the $15 minimum wage, it’s not about anything that helps the economy of New York state. The jobs that it kills are the jobs of the most unskilled workers — minority workers who want to be employed, but will be unemployed because of the high minimum wage.”

Cuomo has pushed hard for the minimum wage to increase to $15 over the coming years after he took a series of executive actions that raised it for fast-food and state workers, as well SUNY employees. Cuomo has named the broader campaign to raise the wage legislatively after his late father.

Senate Republicans have raised concerns over the possibility of wage increase, but have not ruled it out entirely.

Cox declined to say whether he would call on the Senate GOP to block the wage increase.

“They are going to stand for Republican principles,” Cox said, “but at the same time they have to negotiate a lot of issues with the governor and that’s what’s going to happen and that’s the legislative process.”

Pressed on whether Republicans haven’t ruled out a minimum wage hike, Cox said individually the lawmakers have.

“A lot of them have said — a lot of the senators have said they’re against the $15 minimum wage,” he said. “Those are Republican principles and we have to see what happens in the legislative process.”

Pivoting back to Cuomo, Cox criticized the governor’s claims that minimum wage earners — many of whom work part time or multiple jobs — live in poverty. The current minimum wage for most workers in New York is $9, having increased on the first day of the year from $8.75.

“That is a big lie that minimum wage workers in New York state are living in poverty,” Cox said. “They are not. They are way above the poverty line of $24,000.”

Cox: Cuomo’s ‘Lost His Will’ In Teachers Union Fight

CoxAs the state prepares to overhaul the Common Core education standards and potentially reduce the impact of state testing on teacher evaluations to zero, New York Republican Chairman Ed Cox knocked Gov. Andrew Cuomo for an apparent retreat on education policy.

Cuomo has battled with the state’s teachers unions, especially the New York State United Teachers umbrella group, since taking office.

The union has pushed back against Cuomo’s push to link teacher evaluation scores to standardized test results and has been critical of the governor’s support for charter schools.

But now Cuomo’s task force convened to recommend changes to Common Core testing may back a uncoupling of test results from evaluations — a twist in policy that comes after state lawmakers and the governor agreed to a revamp in teacher evaluations earlier this year.

At the same time, roughly 20 percent of students opted out of the April round of state tests in math and English-language arts.

“The union didn’t break him, he lost his will to take them on after an embarrassing Democratic primary where he was forced to rely on Mayor de Blasio to get the Working Families Party nomination,” Cox said in a statement. “Cuomo is now taking every opportunity to lurch to his left to gain favor with the Working Families Party and outflank de Blasio. New York students are once again the victims.”

Support for Common Core and stricter teacher evaluation standards that focuses on test results isn’t necessarily a partisan issue: Liberals have blasted Cuomo’s education stances as have conservatives who support more local control over education policy.

In his statement, Cox said Cuomo was choosing a political expedient route.

“It’s clear the Governor’s only priority right now is protecting his political ambitions, rather what is good for the state. Too many of our students are stuck in failing schools and Upstate’s economy is on the brink of disaster, both the result of failed liberal policies. The radical reform the Governor promised has vanished in his political winds.”

Cox: Pension Veto ‘Difficult’ To Override

CoxAs some, mostly Republican, state lawmakers talk of overriding Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s veto of a bill design to expand a pension credit to veterans, state GOP Committee Chairman Ed Cox said on Wedndesday it was unlikely.

“Veterans deserve to have a break,” Cox told reporters in Buffalo. “At the moment the Legislature is not in session in Albany. I think it will be difficult to override. The governor has made his decision and I think voters in 2018 will make their decision about the governor.”

Cuomo on Monday night announced 22 measures were vetoed, while he approved 39.

The veterans bill has been vetoed by Cuomo before and he once again cited the increase cost it would bring to taxpayers. More >

State Republicans Knock de Blasio’s Iowa Forum

The New York Republican Committee on Wednesday took a shot at Mayor Bill de Blasio’s planned forum in Iowa for the presidential candidates to discuss inequality.

In a statement, Republican Chairman Ed Cox said the trip to Iowa is a sign the mayor is “bored with his job already.”

“While he tends to his presidential ambitions, quality of life in the city is declining, crime is increasing and the public school system is an embarrassment,” Cox said in the statement. “Why are we not surprised that he would rather do a public forum in Iowa than New York City?”

De Blasio has sought to inject into the national debate a discussion about the growing income inequality chasm in the country, holding off on making an early endorsement in the presidential campaign in the process.

Democratic candidates including former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former Gov. Martin O’Malley and Sen. Bernie Sanders are invited to the event.

Cox: Boehner’s Decision Not Trivial

EdcoxThe decision for House Speaker John Boehner to step down was likely not a trivial one, State Republican Committee Chairman Ed Cox said in a radio interview on Friday.

Cox, interviewed on Fred Dicker’s Talk-1300 radio show minutes after the news broke Boehner would resign both from the speakership and his House seat by the end of October, called Boehner a “good guy” who is stepping down for the good of the country.

“Look, this is a good guy. He just wanted to do what was right for the country and I think he just thought what was right for the country was for himself to resign as speaker,” Cox said. “I have no doubt this was a trivial decision on his part. This was a well considered, this is what’s best for the country.”

Boehner has made multiple appearances on behalf of New York House candidates and Republican incumbents since taking the speakership in 2011 — campaigning and fundraising heavily in New York’s upstate battleground congressional districts.

But he faced in recent months a revolt from conservative rank-and-file members who once again sought to curtail federal funding of Planned Parenthood, a move that risked yet another government shutdown, which Boehner wanted to avoid. More >

Cox Re-Elected State GOP Chairman

As expected, Ed Cox was re-elected on Monday to another term as state Republican committee chairman.

The victory comes after Onondaga County Republican Chairman Tom Dadey contemplated jumping into the race against Cox, but never gained the needed support from county leaders to unseat Cox.

Dadey had been critical of Cox’s leadership last week, saying he would be able to bridge the gap between tea party-backed Republicans upstate and downstate GOP members.

At the same time, Dadey was openly suggesting a candidacy after the Senate majority leader post fell to another downstate Republican, John Flanagan of Suffolk County, who replaced Dean Skelos of Nassau.

But Dadey never gained the support from fellow county chairs amide questions over his ability to raise enough money for a party that is vastly outnumber enrollment-wise in New York.

Now Cox faces a presidential election year in which Republicans are defending their last lever of power in state government, the state Senate.

Cox ‘Aboslutely’ Expects To Be Re-Elected Chairman

EdcoxState GOP Chairman Ed Cox told reporters on Friday he “absolutely” will be re-elected to another despite a potential challenge from Onondaga County Chairman Tom Dadey.

“I don’t know if there’s been a declaration or not,” Cox said after attending the state Business Council meeting on Friday. “Normally if you do a challenge you declare it several months in advance.”

Cox is due to seek re-election on Monday, when Republicans meet in the Albany area. He laughed off whether he was counting votes among party leaders.

“Count the votes? Oh, c’mon,” he said.

Cox, the son-in-law of the late Richard Nixon, has been accused by Republicans like 2010 gubernatorial nominee Carl Paladino of not pushing back against Democrats like Andrew Cuomo. More >

Cox Mocks ‘Two Scorpions’ Cuomo And de Blasio

EdcoxNew York Republican Committee Chairman Ed Cox in a statement on Tuesday took to mocking the squabble between Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio over the push to curtail topless performers in Times Square.

While the governor and mayor “are competing to show who’s tougher on bare-breasted beauties in Times Square” the city faces more pressing problems like crime (NYPD statistics released this week show serious crime is dropping in New York City).

In the statement, Cox compares the Cuomo and de Blasio spat to “two scorpions” fighting in a bottle, only New Yorkers are the ones being hurt.

“Democrat Governor Andrew Cuomo and Democrat Mayor Bill de Blasio are like two scorpions in a bottle, and it’s New Yorkers, ultimately, who are getting stung,” Cox said in the statement. “While New York City reverts to the pre-Giuliani era of crime and grime, and the state remains the highest taxed and least job-friendly state in America, Cuomo and de Blasio are competing to show who’s tougher on bare-breasted beauties in Times Square. Cuomo is sending in State troopers while de Blasio appoints a blue ribbon panel to try lay the political groundwork to embarrass a Bloomberg initiative. Is there any wonder why so many families and businesses are fleeing New York?”

More >