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Trump keeps NY GOP wondering
Rochester, N.Y. The race to become the Republican nominee to take on incumbent Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo is underway.
So far, only one Republican has officially announced plans to potentially challenge Cuomo in the general election, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino.
Astorino made a campaign stop in Monroe County on Friday, talking about economic and education issues, as well as the NY SAFE Act.
Meanwhile, theres still much speculation over whether or not New York real-estate tycoon Donald Trump will announce his intentions to seek the Republican nomination.
Trump has made no secret about his potential plans to run for Governor. On Tuesday he is scheduled to appear in Syracuse at a Republican fundraiser.
This is not something light hearted, said NY Assembly Member Bill Nojay (R). He has called county chairmen all across the state, and you dont spend that amount of time or devote those resources without being serious about it.
Although Nojay has not yet endorsed Astorino or Trump, he did say he felt Trump could defeat Cuomo in a general election, due to some polls showing a drop in Cuomos job performance ratings.
Nazareth College political science professor Timothy Kneeland said Cuomo is still going to be difficult to defeat, and while his job performance ratings may have dropped, his favorability ratings remain high.
Hes in really good shape for reelection, Kneeland said. If the election were held today, Cuomo would trounce any Republican by at least 30%.
Kneeland said strategically, he feels Astorino may be a more formidable opponent going toe-to-toe with Cuomo.
You have to look at Astorinos success in Westchester county, he said. Democrats have a voter enrollment advantage there, and he did very well.
A spokesperson for Trump said the following about Astorino following his trip to Monroe County.
Rob Astorinos visit to Rochester is no different than his announcement, which will do little to curb the vast movement by the majority of GOP leaders who remain committed to a Donald Trump candidacy, said Michael Cohen, Executive Vice President and Special Counsel to Trump. Their belief is that only Donald Trump has the ability to defeat Andrew Cuomo in the governors race.
If any other Republican officially seeks the GOP nomination, it's likely a primary will be held in September to determine who will face Cuomo in November.