HAUPPAUGE, N.Y. (1010 WINS/ AP) — Steve Levy has decided against running for governor as an independent.

The Suffolk County executive, who failed in a bid for the GOP nomination after quitting the Democratic Party earlier this year, says he is endorsing former Long Island Congressman Rick Lazio in the race.

Levy says he realized it would not be possible to win this year without having major party backing.

He says he is backing Lazio because both agree on cutting property taxes and capping spending in Albany.

Lazio faces a Republican primary challenge in September from Buffalo millionaire Carl Paladino. The winner of that contest will face Democrat Andrew Cuomo in November.

Levy says he intends to remain a Republican.

(TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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