Massachusetts governor William Weld said Thursday that he
doesn't want to be addressed as "Governor Weld"
anymore--unless he wins New York's gubernatorial
election next year. "I plan to run as 'Mister,' if I
can make that stick, to emphasize that I've got to earn
this," he said after his first meeting with state Republican
Party officials vetting the candidates.
Weld said his closed-door session with state GOP
chairman Stephen Minarik and several county chairs at
a Rockland County hotel was "low-key." But Minarik and
Erie County chairman Robert Davis were enthusiastic.
Half a dozen other potential candidates were
interviewed, as were all the GOP candidates for U.S.
Senate. Weld said the party chairs asked him about his
positions on several issues and that his support for
abortion rights is "not everybody's dish of tea." But
he told them he also favors a ban on what
anti-abortion activists call "partial-birth abortion,"
sees no need to reinstate the ban on assault weapons, and,
although he supports "100% equality of rights," he would not
favor same-sex marriage because the idea offends many New Yorkers.
The Republican nominee is expected to face
Democratic state attorney general Eliot Spitzer, and
in the last reported poll Spitzer led Weld 56% to 19%.