Seven at Seven: Would-Be Governors Debate Tonight

Seven at Seven: Would-Be Governors Debate Tonight

New Yorkers get their first look at The Magnificent Seven gubernatorial candidates tonight, and if you can't find someone to embrace on this stage then you're a choosy beggar who doesn't even deserve true democracy and you might as well head straight for Tehran.

The assortment includes a bosomy ex-madam, a mutton-chopped ex-mail man, a Tongan-speaking Naderite, a steel-drum-playing former Black Panther, and a libertarian traffic-court lawyer.

And those are just the minor party candidates. For those with a built-in pro-major bias, they get to choose from a buttoned-down Democrat desperately trying to keep his passions under lock and key, or a Republican given to regular, geyser-like eruptions about everything from gays to Shelly Silver.

Even though the debate is hours away, we're ready with awards for best warm-up performances:

Best Video goes to Warren "LeBron" Redlich, the Libertarian Party candidate who posed for us in jump-shot getup as he declared where he wanted to play.

Best Campaign Tune goes to Jimmy McMillan, Vietnam vet and former post office worker. A taste of the lyrics: "They took damn out our party name. Without it -- it ain't going to be the same."

Best Pre-debate Throw-down goes to Brooklyn city councilman Charles Barron: "Don't go for the bogeyman tactic," he warned the News' Frank Lombardi last week. "Cuomo is hiding behind Paladino's racism and loose-cannon behavior."

Best Name for Potential Governor: Green party candidate Howie Hawkins, dubbed "The Green Hornet" by role model and supporter, Ralph Nader.

Best Impersonation of a Campaign to Kristin Davis the self-declared madam whose campaign is both run and paid for by the Nixon-tattooed Republican arsonist Roger Stone. At debate time, Davis is clocking in at $28,000 raised, with almost $20,000 coming from Stone's own checking account.

Cuomo and Paladino finished out of the running in all categories, but they may redeem themselves this evening.


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