When Rob Astorino ran against Governor Cuomo in 2014, he ran on three party lines—the Republican Party, the Conservative Party, and the newly created single issue Stop Common Core Party. Although Astorino was defeated, the Stop Common Core Party received enough votes (over 50,000) to have it qualify to automatically appear on the ballot through 2018. Astorino expanded the party’s focus and changed its name to the Reform Party. It is affiliated with the national Reform Party.
The New York State Conservative Party isn’t happy about the newly formed Reform Party. The Chair of the New York Conservatives has said: “The [Conservative Party ] members were very vocal that they were upset at the changes (with the Stop Common Core party). The purpose was to stop Common Core. My exact words, on a personal level, were that ‘I’m asking you to please consider not taking the Reform Party (line on the ballot) if it’s offered to you.”
The Yates County town where I live, Milo, has four seats on the County Legislature. There are seven running in the September 10 Primary for four Republican spots on the November General Elections ballot. Three are incumbents, and four are challengers. No Democrats will be running for the County Legislature.
One of the challengers has been endorsed by the Reform Party. If he is successful in the September 10 Republican Primary, he will be on the November ballot on three Party Lines–The Republican, The Conservative and the Reform Parties.
The websites of the State Republican, Conservative, and Reform parties explains their priorities, issues and platform. Comparing the three platforms you’ll see that the New York State Reform’s platform is broadly written and not very detailed. It consists of eleven topics with a one sentence explanation. For example- Topic (TAX POLICY-The Reform Party SUPPORTS fair taxation policies without prejudice or special interest exceptions.) There is not much, if anything, that would guide a County Legislator on how to vote on local county issues. Their ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY, which is “The Reform Party SUPPORTS safeguarding our nation’s natural resources balanced with the need for economic development.” Both Zephyr Teachout and Tom Reed could use that statement to justify their Fracking stand.
What is the real purpose of the Reform Party? Could it be a vehicle for Rob Astorino to organize a 2018 run for Governor?