NEW YORK (AP) — New York Republican leaders were calling on Rick Lazio to end his campaign for governor after losing his party’s primary to Tea Party favorite Carl Paladino.

Former U.S. Rep. Lazio continued to have the support of the state’s Conservative Party, and could run as its gubernatorial candidate in November.

That could draw critical support away from the millionaire Buffalo developer who won the Republican nomination, the state’s top GOP leaders said in a letter they addressed to Lazio on Tuesday.

The letter was signed by chairman Edward F. Cox and other party power brokers.

Lazio had been the Republican designee in last week’s primary, but was trounced by Paladino.

Lazio’s spokesman said they would file the correspondence with Cox’ other “inconsequential statements and letters.”

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