Onondaga County Republican Chairman Tom Dadey was serious about potentially challenging Ed Cox, leader of the state GOP.
Ultimately, there wasn't enough support for Dadey to defeat the incumbent chairman.
Dadey said in an interview with The Citizen that he never announced his candidacy before county Republican leaders met Monday in the Albany area. He described the situation as "very fluid" until the last minute.
While he said he had strong support from upstate GOP leaders, there wasn't a path to victory without backing from Long Island Republicans.
"I had a conversation with (Suffolk County GOP Chairman John Jay LaValle) right before the vote," he said by phone. "I thought we were going to be able to work something out. He decided to stay with Cox and he had the proxies from Nassau County, so that was 20 percent of the weighted vote right there."
Cox was unanimously re-elected to serve another two-year term as state Republican chairman. He has held the post since late 2009.
Despite not having the votes to unseat Cox, Dadey hopes conversations will continue about how Republicans can win statewide elections.
The last Republican to win statewide was George Pataki, who was re-elected governor in 2002.
"If I heard it once today, I heard it five, ten times from different chairs saying, 'We gotta get back to winning,'" Dadey said. "We gotta figure out a way to win in this state because Massachusetts and Illinois are blue states, but (Republicans) are able to pull it off. They're able to win. How do we do that?"
Dadey said there are strong Republican committees, including his own, in counties where Democrats hold an enrollment advantage. He used Rob Astorino as an example. The GOP's 2014 gubernatorial candidate has won county executive races in Westchester County even though Democrats have a major enrollment edge.
As for his relationship with Cox, Dadey said he didn't meet with the state GOP chairman while in the Capital Region.
Cox was scheduled to meet with a group of chairs Monday afternoon, but Dadey left to return to Syracuse.
"I have not talked to him," Dadey said of Cox. "At some point in the next week or two I'm sure I'll talk to him."
Be the first to know
Get local news delivered to your inbox!