Christopher Cox, Nixon's grandson, steps in to ugly Republican primary for Rep. Tim Bishop's Long Island seat

Suffolk County attorney Chris Cox, a grandson of the late President Nixon, threw his hat in the ring last week for the Republican nomination in NY-1, a Suffolk County seat currently held by Rep. Tim Bishop. According to newly elected local Republican Chair John Jay LaValle, Cox is a front runner for the slot, and some of his six opponents think he owes that to his family. No, not his grandfather -- his dad. Cox' father, Edward, is the New York State GOP Chair.

This is particularly upsetting to the veterans of Doug Hoffman's insurgent campaign in NY-23 who were looking forward to having an actual nominated major party candidate to work for in NY-1, and to self-funding millionaire Randy Altschuler, who was looking forward to being that candidate.

Altschuler, who got good notices from local conservatives and the NRCC when he first stepped into the race, is on the wrong side of LaValle, and the two are increasingly willing to air that in public.

Team Altschuler shot first, accusing LaValle of imposing Cox on NY-1 by fiat without considering the wishes of local activists, in much the same way, former Hoffman guy Rob Ryan said, as Dede Scozzafava was in NY-23.

LaValle didn't like that at all, and he let Liz Benjamin at the Daily News know about it in no uncertain terms.

"A lot of the nonsense coming out of the Altschuler camp is just reacting off the fact that their candidate is flawed."

"Randy ran around the county essentially trying to buy the election by spreading portions of his personal wealth across this county. He certainly is a nice fella, but the reality is I've never seen a candidate try to run for office with more flaws than Randy Altschuler.... Absent his personal wealth, he wouldn't even be considered for this seat."

Lavalle, who acknowledged his initial support for Altschuler's candidacy, said he soured on it when he found out that Altschuler's business outsourced jobs to India, something which actually became an issue when Altschuler was a McCain bundler two years earlier, and which LaValle discounted right up until he didn't.

Local politicians supporting Altschuler shot back with an open letter to Suffolk party leaders branding his candidacy a "tea party" joint opposed by calcified insiders who "don't get it," suggesting that "the fix is in," and attacking "supposedly neutral party officials" who are clearly LaValle of "shameless" behavior. The local branch of the 9/12ers is going with LaValle.

LaValle thinks Altschuler can't beat Bishop, doesn't vote regularly, was once a member of the Green Party. Altschuler's friends say he was a Green until 9/11, when he switched to the GOP, and point out that an FDL poll showed him within two points of Bishop. They pretty much punted on the voting thing.

LaValle says Altschuler is (gasp) from New Jersey. Altschuler's friends point out that Cox only switched his registration from Manhattan to his summer house in Westhampton Beach last month, although LaValle points out that Cox' family has had houses in the district for 130 years.

Altschuler is willing to force a primary. LaValle says he isn't scared of a primary. Cox says if there's a primary, he won't run in it.

Even though right now, LaValle/Altschuler is the big fun in this race, you needn't worry that it will cease to be entertaining if Cox does get it. At 29, Cox was an executive director of Senator McCain's presidential campaign in NY (which was run by his dad). At the time, he told the Times that he never really talked to his grandfather, who died when he was 15, about politics.

Apparently they've spoken since. Cox told Fox and Friends that his grandfather

would not have endorsed President Obama's policy of talking to people "who don't like us."

which well-known policy position of the late president's was, you may or may not know, the basis for the popular expression "only Nixon can absolutely refuse to go to China because they totes don't like us at all, and besides, they're communists."

I have great hopes for young master Cox.


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