The Comeback That Wasn't


As Reason reported earlier, former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld won the Libertarian nomination for governor of New York and was headed to win the Republican nomination. The second part of that plan hasn't exactly worked out.

Instead, delegates in the deeply divided party chose John Faso, a former assemblyman from Columbia County, by a ratio of more than three to two in balloting at their state convention here.

Mr. Weld had the tacit support of Gov. George E. Pataki and other party leaders, who encouraged him to run and pressured delegates to embrace him as their best hope against Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, the likely Democratic nominee.

In a roll call of the delegates, however, Mr. Faso won 61.2 percent to Mr. Weld's 38.8 percent, with 25 percent required for a place on the primary ballot. Mr. Weld said that despite the outcome, he would stay in the race.

The primary is still wide open, but with the more textbook conservative Faso slugging it out with Weld until the September primary, and with both men appearing on the ballot as third-party candidates even if they lose the GOP nod (Faso has the Conservative Party nomination), two things are assured. One, Eliot Spitzer will be New York's next governor. Two, William Weld's comeback is over.