NEW YORK - Thursday was a great day for County Executive Greg Edwards.
A day after Rick Lazio secured the state Republican Party's endorsement for governor, Edwards won the lieutenant governor nomination in Manhattan.
Edwards called the vote for him "unanimous and encouraging" Thursday, adding that it gave him a chance to tell those in attendance how important it is that they chose Lazio to be New York's next governor.
"I was thrilled and honored and look forward to working with him as the campaign unfolds to a win on Nov. 2," Edwards said.
Along with Lazio, three others had been vying for the party's endorsement - Buffalo businessman Carl Paladino, Manhattan real estate executive Myers Mermel and Democratic Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy.
The Associated Press reported Thursday that party division had been clear in the bitter, three-hour floor fight that happened Wednesday. The fight almost forced Lazio into a primary campaign which he would have found difficult to pay for.
Only a day later though, Edwards reported that the party is already coming together behind Lazio for governor and himself for lieutenant governor. Their campaign, he said, is really about bringing significant and far-reaching change to Albany.
"We have their full support and encouragement," Edwards said. "So now we come out of the convention with significant momentum, significant increase in the support that we have been able to generate and now all of our energies are focused on communicating our message, showing how principled, hardworking leadership can make a real difference for the people in New York state."
The convention this week was a first for Edwards, having never been to the state Republican Party gathering before. Laid out just like is seen when national conventions are held, Edwards said the event was well run and was especially wonderful Thursday because County Clerk Sandy Sopak participated.
"She did my second to my nomination and having Sandy Sopak there was very important," Edwards said. "Everyone I talked to was certainly encouraged by her message. It really did convey what we wanted it to convey and that is that we're doing it. We're doing it right here in Chautauqua County. We're finding ways to shrink government, cut back on spending, improve our services and that's precisely what needs to happen at the state level."
Though away from the county, Edwards said Wednesday that he has been working with local leaders to address issues. He said he continues to press forward with initiatives to do the hard work that needs to be done for the people of the county, and that he will continue to do that throughout the campaign.