“I’d want to run against Lazio,” said Norman Adler, a Democratic political consultant. “He’s got no resources, $600,000 in the bank and has raised no money recently,” but the new man in town, Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy, is another story. Experts think the state may see a real show-down between the mustachioed “bomb-thrower” and the former favorite, presumed Democratic candidate Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, both vying for the governor's seat. With each promising reform in Albany, voters are about to find out what happens when two mavericks collide.

According to a recent poll, 66 percent of voters think Cuomo would reform the system, and though there are no numbers out on Levy yet, the Times says he has a record of "budget-cutting and tax-fighting.” Since the attorney general—not a multitasker—hasn’t declared his candidacy yet, loudmouth Levy has a bit of a head start. “He’ll certainly have an appeal,” affirmed Jay Jacobs, the state’s Democratic Party chairman.

All of a sudden Levy’s opponent for the Republican nomination, Rick Lazio, is stuck sitting in the corner. His camp has accused Levy, who just weeks ago switched from the Democratic party, of being untruthful regarding his record, and it may have a point. But coming out of Paterson’s murky administration, promises of the future may mean more than history, sources suggest.