This past Monday former Governor George Pataki came to the studios of WABC and appeared on my show. He was angry that the group (NY United 4 Change) was attempting to poach Republicans by having them register as Democrats so that moderate Dems could fend off the takeover of their Party by the Socialist Dems. The Establishment Democrats wanted Republicans to know that a Republican could not win as Mayor. Pataki was there to refute that claim. He reminded the audience that when he announced for Governor in 1994 almost no one knew him and almost everyone said that he couldn’t beat MARIO CUOMO. Dems had nominated Cuomo for political sainthood. Pataki said the consensus was that he couldn’t win the Republican primary, never mind beat the man who could have been President.
I began to reminisce how on the night that I was fired at WABC from the morning show in 1994 I went to the Yale Club to fulfill a promise that I had made to introduce Republican Gubernatorial candidate George Pataki. There were 8 people in attendance – 4 of Pataki’s family members, 2 of his classroom chums and 2 strangers. The 2 strangers told George he had no chance to beat Cuomo. Six months later outside of Ben’s Kosher Deli on Queens Blvd. Bob Grant, the King of Talk Radio, and comedian Jackie Mason spoke at a rally for Pataki. Half the crowd made it known they didn’t think George could beat Mario.
Two weeks before Election Day the polls had Cuomo up by 10 points. In 1994 47% of voters were Democrats and only 31% were Republicans. Cuomo won NYC but Pataki almost the rest of the state. Final tally had Pataki with 47% of the vote and Mario Cuomo with only 44%. He went on to serve 3 terms as NYS Governor and stood side by side with Rudy in the aftermath of the attack of 9/11. Being a hopeless underdog was no deterrent. He believed from the beginning that he could win the race.
Pataki urged all Republicans not to jump ship, to fight for the principles of the Party and to push forward as he had to VICTORY.
I was inspired and I hope you will be too,
Republican Mayoral Candidate 2021