Some Republican legislators and others in the party are meeting with Donald Trump at his New York City office to try to convince him to run for governor.
"As Republicans, we need to cast a pretty wide net and find the best candidate to beat Gov. (Andrew) Cuomo, and we think that Mr. Trump can beat Mr. Cuomo," Republican state Assemblyman David DiPietro told the New York Daily News
about Wednesday's meeting.
Trump has often talked about running for president and for governor, but has never officially declared for either office. According to Trump Executive Vice President Michael Cohen, the real estate and entertainment billionaire won't be swayed this time around to become a candidate.
“Politicians and political operatives speak to, and seek an audience with Mr. Trump all throughout the year looking for his guidance and support. I suspect (Wednesday) is no different," Cohen told the Daily News.
The GOP has been trying to draft Trump to run for governor for some time. The effort intensified earlier this fall after Trump said changes are needed in the state's Democratic-run government, and "somebody needs to get in there and cut out a lot of taxes."
Trump is considered by many to be the only Republican with enough pull to beat Cuomo, and a run for governor may boost his chances if he does decide to run for president in 2016.
The group on Wednesday is expected to tell Trump that he has the money and name recognition to be the governor, although Cuomo is favored to win re-election next year in the predominantly Democratic state, the Daily News reported. The list of possible Republican challengers to go up against him is short, the newspaper indicated.
Two major polls
in late November found that Cuomo's approval ratings are over 50 percent as he prepares to open his re-election bid. A large majority of those surveyed said he deserves a second term.
DiPietro insisted that the effort to recruit Trump is not an insult against Westchester County Executive Ron Astorino, who is considering a run and has been named top choice by state Republican Party Chairman Ed Cox to carry the GOP banner.
“Most people going into the meeting believe that Trump can actually win and not just run a nominal campaign with the hopes of winning sometime in the future,” DiPietro said.
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