Republican Rob Astorino will announce the first week in March that he will run for governor of New York.
The Westchester County executive is expected to make the announcement March 3 or 4 along with his agenda on "eight key issues," the New York Post
The decision to enter the race came after receiving promises of at least $15 million in campaign contributions and more to come, if he can tighten the race between himself and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who is expected to have $40 million in the bank for his re-election bid.
"There'll be a lot of independent expenditure money from across the country against Cuomo if Rob can make the race tight," a source close to Astorino told the Post.
The New York Republican won re-election for county executive in November in a county that is 2-1 Democratic.
Astorino's "eight key issues" are the struggling New York economy; the refusal of Cuomo to approve natural-gas drilling; Cuomo's statement
that "right-to-life, pro-assault weapons, anti-gay" Republicans "have no place in New York;" the New York governor's anti-gun "Safe Act;" Cuomo's free education plan for state prison inmates; fear of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's class warfare language; Obamacare; and the tens of millions of dollars spent on a national TV campaign to promote New York as business-friendly state featuring Cuomo, which some say really just promote the New York Democrat.
"Let's put it this way, there are no shortages of issues to use against Gov. Cuomo," one Astorino source said.
New York billionaire Donald Trump told Newsmax
in January that he is considering a run for governor, if the party can unite.
"If we could have a unified party in New York . . . which we haven't had for a long time, many years . . . I would certainly give it very, very serious consideration, which I'm doing now," Trump said.
"There's got to be total unity because it's three to one in New York, Democrats to Republicans. It's a very hard race to start off with, and the last thing you want to do is go into a primary with somebody that can't win and have to spend time, effort, and money on winning," he added. "So if there's unity, I would consider it very strongly, and I've told them that."
Trump said last week that he is planning to create the legally required campaign committee.
"Trump really needs to start to take actions like a candidate to keep the enthusiasm he has amongst county chairs," a leading Republican in New York told the Post. "He needs to travel and do more events upstate and on Long Island. It will be telling if Trump makes himself available for those."
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