A group of Republican lawmakers and operatives spent more than two hours behind closed doors with celebrity billionaire Donald Trump today in Manhattan, trying to entice him to run for governor next year.
Trump’s name was floated as a potential challenger to Gov. Andrew Cuomo earlier this year, and Trump quickly ruled it out. But he didn’t dismiss the overtures today, and a spokesman said the sides plan to meet again soon.
“He didn’t make any commitments, and we didn’t ask him to make any commitments,” Assemblyman Bill Nojay R-Pittsford, Monroe County, who was among the dozen lawmakers in attendance. “We just wanted to have an open discussion about the state of New York politics.”
Trump spokesman Michael Cohen confirmed the meeting, which was held on the 25th floor of Trump Tower. Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, attended a portion of the meeting.
“It was a very interesting meeting, and Mr. Trump has agreed to meet them again at a later date,” said Cohen, who declined further comment.
Nojay earlier this year put out a memo to GOP leaders in hopes of trying to lure Trump to head the party’s ticket in 2014.
In the meantime, Westchester County Executive Robert Astorino has been touted as the party’s best hope against Cuomo.
Nojay said the meeting with Trump isn’t a slight at Astorino, who has yet to say whether he’ll run.
“Astorino would make a great candidate and would make a great governor,” Nojay said, but added that Trump has the money and the name recognition that would help him statewide.