|Republican candidate for
New York State Comptroller
August 25, 1952 |
Long Island, New York
|Spouse(s)||Mary Frances Faso|
|Children||Nicholas and Margaret|
|Website||Candidate John Faso|
John Faso (born August 25, 1952) was the Republican nominee for Governor of New York in 2006, and was defeated by Democratic nominee Eliot Spitzer in the largest defeat for a Republican gubernatorial candidate in the state's history. This followed his loss to Alan Hevesi four years earlier in his run for State Comptroller. He was a former member of the New York State Assembly, and minority leader from 1998 until April 2002.
His dad, John Sr. was a small businessman, running a tool rental and television repair store, while his mother Frances stayed at home raised five children. He is of Italian and Irish descent. Faso attended Archbishop Molloy High School in Queens, NY, graduating in 1970. He then graduated from State University of New York at Brockport and earned his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center in 1979. He currently serves as a partner in the Manatt, Phelps & Phillips law firm and lives in Kinderhook with his wife Mary and his two children, Nicholas and Margaret. He is a Roman Catholic.
Faso was the frontrunner for the 1994 Republican nomination for New York State Comptroller and might have been nominated for Comptroller at that year's Republican State Convention, but was asked to withdraw from the comptroller's race that year to let Herbert London to run for comptroller instead.
In late 1994, Faso served as a member of George Pataki's transition team, where he chaired the budget committee and drafted the first draft of Pataki's 1995 state budget proposal. In 1995, Faso became the Ranking Member of the Assembly Ways and Means Committee. Members of Faso's staff included future Assemblyman Pete Lopez.
Faso ran for New York Comptroller in 2002, losing to Alan Hevesi by a 50%-47% margin. He gave up his role as minority leader during the campaign and did not seek reelection to his Assembly seat in order to seek the comptroller's office.
After leaving the Assembly, Faso became a partner in the law firm of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips LLP and was appointed by Pataki to the Buffalo Fiscal Stability Authority. In this role, Faso works with other authority commissioners to stabilize Buffalo finances and oversee the management of the city's budget.
- 1996 "Guardian of Small Business" -National Federation of Independent Businesses
- 1997 "Distinguished Public Service" -Nelson A. Rockefeller College
2006 Gubernatorial Race
In 2005, Faso announced his intention to run for governor. He positioned himself early as a conservative upstate candidate, while stressing his childhood roots in Long Island. He originally faced former Massachusetts Governor William Weld, former Secretary of State Randy Daniels, and Assemblyman Patrick Manning. Daniels and Manning both dropped out and Faso became the main opposition to Weld. His campaign was managed by Bill O'Reilly.
It has been reported that in early 2006, Weld offered Faso the chance to join his ticket as a candidate for lieutenant governor, an offer Faso reportedly declined. Faso gained increasing support from party leaders in various counties, including Westchester and Suffolk, both of which had large delegate counts to the state convention.
In late May 2006, Faso received the nomination of the Conservative Party for governor, which guaranteed him a spot on the November ballot. He pledged to continue running for governor on the Conservative line if he lost the Republican primary to Weld. On the day he received the Conservative nomination, Faso announced his selection of Rockland County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef as his running mate for lieutenant governor.
On June 1, 2006, the Republican State Convention voted 61% to 39% to endorse Faso. By achieving over 50 percent of the vote, Faso was the designated Republican Party candidate in the September primary against Weld, but Weld still had enough to force a primary. As the Washington Post put it, "now it turns out whoever loses the GOP primary will stay in the race -- in a position likely to siphon votes from the Republican nominee."  For this reason, Weld was under tremendous pressure to drop out of the race. On June 5, Stephen J. Minarik, the chairman of the state Republican Party, who had been Weld's most prominent backer, called on Weld to withdraw in the interest of party unity. Weld formally announced his withdrawal from the race, and his support of Faso, the following day.
Faso made fighting increases in school property taxes a central theme of his campaign. In April, he announced a plan to stop the growth in school taxes and charged that Democrat Eliot Spitzer's plan for this issue would lead to a tax increase.
Faso was the original sponsor of charter school legislation and was a leading figure in the passage of Governor Pataki's proposal to create charter schools in New York State in 1998. He supported expanding the current cap on charter schools.
Vastly outspent, Faso was swamped by Democratic nominee Eliot Spitzer, who attained 69% of the vote.
Interestingly, both candidates to whom Faso lost statewide elections, Eliot Spitzer and Alan Hevesi, were forced to resign their offices in personal and legal scandal.
In January 2009, Faso was a possible candidate to replace Kirsten Gillibrand in New York's 20th congressional district, and was even endorsed by the Greene County Republican Party, however the nomination eventually went to Assembly Minority Leader James Tedisco.
- Healy, Patrick (October 18, 2006). "An Ill-Timed Candidate Believes His Time Is Now". The New York Times. Archived from the original on July 3, 2014.
- Herszenhorn, David M. "In the Race for Governor, a Big Divide on School Aid", The New York Times, November 2, 2006. Accessed December 6, 2007. "Mr. Faso, whose father worked as a janitor in the Catholic grammar school that he attended on Long Island, went on to Archbishop Molloy High School in Queens and the State University of New York at Brockport."
- Healy, Patrick (October 18, 2006). "An Ill-Timed Candidate Believes His Time Is Now". New York Times. Retrieved 16 June 2015.
- "Faso to head Pataki budget team". News Bank. November 21, 1994.
- Dao, James (June 5, 1995). "More Budget Battles; This Year's Fiscal Fight Is Over in Albany But Squabbling May Be Worse Next Year". The New York Times. Archived from the original on November 3, 2012. Retrieved April 3, 2010.
- Healy, Patrick (June 1, 2006). "Weld-Faso? Faso-Weld? The Kingmaker From Nassau Holds the Cards". The New York Times. Archived from the original on July 3, 2014. Retrieved April 3, 2010.
- Healy, Patrick (May 24, 2006). "Conservative Party Endorses Faso for Governor, Setting Up a Political Fight in G.O.P.". The New York Times. Archived from the original on July 3, 2014. Retrieved April 3, 2010.
- Edsall, Thomas B. (May 29, 2006). "Another Stumble for Ralph Reed's Beleaguered Campaign". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 3, 2010.
- Healy, Patrick (June 5, 2006). "G.O.P. Chief in N.Y. Urges Weld to Quit Governor's Race". The New York Times. Archived from the original on November 13, 2012. Retrieved April 3, 2010.
- "Former Mass. Gov. Weld drops out of New York race". The Washington Post. June 6, 2006. Retrieved April 3, 2010.
- "Clinton, Spitzer, Cuomo lead Democratic sweep". USA Today. November 8, 2006. Retrieved July 9, 2008.
- "Capitol Confidential » Who thinks highly of John Faso? John Faso does". Blogs.timesunion.com. Archived from the original on February 10, 2009. Retrieved February 20, 2011.
- Michael Huber, timesunion.com (February 16, 2011). "Greene County GOP goes with Faso - Local Politics - Capital Region - Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady - timesunion.com - Albany NY". Blogs.timesunion.com. Retrieved February 20, 2011.
- "Murphy, Tedisco to square off March 31". The Business Review. February 11, 2009. Archived from the original on October 24, 2012.
|New York Assembly|
Clarence D. Lane
|New York State Assembly
Joel M. Miller
Thomas M. Reynolds
|Minority Leader in the New York State Assembly
Charles H. Nesbitt
|Party political offices|
|Republican nominee for New York State Comptroller
|Republican nominee for Governor of New York