Leaders of the state Conservative Party are giving their critical backing for governor to former Rep. Rick Lazio.
The endorsement came Saturday at a meeting of the Conservative Party in Brooklyn. State Conservative Party Chairman Michael Long says the Republican Lazio won the vote by a 5-to-1 margin.
Lazio is a former congressman from Long Island who lost badly to Hillary Rodham Clinton in the 2000 Senate race.
He faces challenges for the Republican nomination from conservative Democrat Steve Levy and Buffalo businessman Carl Paladino.
No Republican has won statewide office in New York without the Conservative Praty endorsement.
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