The Conservative Party was formed in 1962 to restore a meaningful choice to the voters of New York State. At that time, the three existing political parties espoused the doctrinaire liberal philosophy of the welfare state at home and the collectivist ideology abroad.
In just three short decades, the party has grown from a small band of conservative-minded men and women to a statewide organization of almost 170,000 individuals dedicated to the traditional American values of individual freedom, individual responsibility and individual effort.
From a humble beginning garnering 141,000 votes on ballot Row F, our principles have attracted Empire State voters in sufficient numbers to raise the Party to Row C and twice received over a million votes for our candidate in a statewide election.
From the founding of the party, it has been successively chaired by Kieran O’Doherty, J. Daniel Mahoney, Serphin R. Maltese and Michael R. Long. Through the leadership of these men and the hard work of committee members, the Conservative Party elected James L. Buckley to the U. S. Senate, William Carney to the House of Representatives, Serphin R. Maltese to the State Senate, Rosemary R. Gunning and Charles Jerabec to the State Assembly, and numerous county, city, town and village offices.
The 1994 elections were a breakthrough for the Conservative Party as we provided the margin of victory for Governor George E. Pataki with the 328,605 votes cast on our line. Attorney General Vacco nosed out radical Karen Burstein by 88,340 votes because he received 305,961 Conservative votes. In 1998, 348,272 votes for Governor George E. Pataki were cast on the Conservative line, almost 20,000 more than in 1994, an anomaly in political history.
In 1996, two of the three state Supreme Court Justice races in the 3rd Judicial District, one in the 9th Judicial District and six of the seven races in the 10th Judicial District, the Conservative Party endorsements played a pivotal role. Our strong support of term limits was instrumental when New York City voters went to the polls in November and defeated proposed changes to the term limits for the offices of Mayor and the City Council previously enacted.
In 1997 the Conservative Party led the citizens of New York in defeating the $2.4 billion School Bond Act. Liberals outspent us 6 to 1 in trying to pass what would have been nothing more that a colossal waste of taxpayer money. And, we defeated the proposal for a Constitutional Convention. In the year 2000, we were instrumental in defeating the most expensive transportation bond issues ever placed on the ballot.
History was made in New York City with the 2001 election of Conservative Party Executive Vice Chairman James P. Molinaro as the Borough President of Staten Island.
The 2003-2004 Legislature included 39 State Senators and 47 Assembly Members with Conservative Party endorsement. The 108th Congress included 10 representatives from New York State who sought Conservative endorsement.
The Party continues to make history by supporting Conservative candidates from Martin Golden in the NYS Senate, Nicole Malliotakis in the NYS Assembly, Kalman Yeger in the NYC Council, re-taking the 11th Congressional seat and retaining it with the election of Dan Donovan. These elected officials won their seats with Conservative Party support and carry our values and objectives in their work. In addition, the Brooklyn Party and the State Party have forged strong links to the Republicans and Democrats of compatible views and has played a key role in halting the leftward drift of Empire State Government. The Party was instrumental in the power shift in the NYS Senate in 2010, the election of 6 members of Congress with conservative views and gains in the NYS Assembly that stripped the Speaker of a veto-proof majority. In 2018, the Party endorses a strong slate of Conservative pro-growth candidates including among others Dan Donovan’s re-election to Congress and Chele Chiavacca Farley for U. S. Senate.
On the national level, we are affiliated with the American Conservative Union. Although we are not formally affiliated with any other national conservative organization, we are recognized as the influential New York branch of the American conservative movement and maintain a close and cordial relationship with conservative organizations and public officials both in other states and Washington, D.C.
As former President Ronald Reagan has observed: “The Conservative Party has established itself as a preeminent force in New York Politics and an important part of our political history.”
With your help, the Conservative Party will continue its vital role in reshaping the political agenda of the State and Nation.