Independence Party backs a former Democrat who wants to run as a Republican

Carrion. (NALEO Educational Fund via flickr)
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The Independence Party is expected to endorse Adolfo Carrion Jr. later today, making him the first mayoral candidate to secure a ballot line for the general election.

Not that the Independence line would be enough. The move by the largest third-party organization is also an attempt to help get Carrion into the Republican primary, despite the fact that Carrion isn't a registered Republican and only two of the city's five G.O.P. county chairmen, so far, are willing to let him into the primary. (He'd need the support of three.)

Carrion, formerly a Democratic Bronx borough president and director of the office of urban affairs in the Obama administration, and his aides have argued he is ideologically in tune with what the Republican Party needs to be: fiscally conservative and socially moderate. Carrion also touts his ability to appeal to non-white voters, particularly Hispanics, a fast-growing demographic that played a major role in the national drubbing the Republicans took last year.

Contenders for the Republican mayoral nomination currently include billionaire businessman John Catsimatidis and former M.T.A. chairman Joe Lhota, and two longer-shot candidates who, like Carrion, were Democrats until recently: local publisher Tom Allon and Doe Fund founder George McDonald.

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