Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Nixon Grandson Finds the Going Rocky in Bid for Congress

By Stuart Rothenberg

Republican insiders are quietly skeptical that the grandson of the late President Richard M. Nixon, attorney/businessman Chris Cox, will make it out of the Republican primary in New York’s 1st Congressional District.

Cox, 31, made a splash when he entered the race. Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger held a fund raiser for him, and Cox bragged that his consulting team included former strategists from the John McCain Presidential campaign, including Mark Weaver and Mark Salter. The candidate’s father is chairman of the New York State Republican party.

But Cox’s campaign hasn’t been smooth. Former McCain advisers have left the campaign, and, in an interview, the candidate, who lived and worked in Manhattan before moving to a relative’s house in Suffolk County, wasn’t able to explain how he would create jobs.

Cox now appears to be trying to make himself the Tea Party candidate, a strange development given his political bloodlines, Princeton education and the $1 million he has already loaned his campaign.

Cox, 31, is engaged to Andrea Catsimatidis, 19, whose father is a billionaire businessman and owns, among other things, the Gristedes supermarket chain.

Businessman Randy Altschuler appears to be the favorite in the GOP race in a district that takes in the eastern half of Long island. Attorney George Demos is also in the Republican race, and he has hired veteran consultant/guru Arthur Finkelstein. The Republican nominee will take on Democratic Cong. Tim Bishop in the fall in a contest that bears watching.