A Republican assemblyman who has been considering a long-shot run for governor conceded it would be “nearly impossible” for him to raise the money necessary for a competitive campaign.
Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin, R-Schagticoke, Rensselaer County, said Thursday that he hasn’t fully made up his mind, but said Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s nearly $30 million campaign war chest may be too much to overcome.
“I wouldn’t say it’s 100 percent decided,” McLaughlin told host Fred Dicker on WGDJ-AM in Albany. “But realistically, it’s almost impossible to go out there and raise the kind of money I would need to compete.”
McLaughlin’s comment echoed those he made to Dicker in the New York Post on Monday.
The Republican has been one of Cuomo’s most aggressive critics. He first floated in June that he was considering a potential gubernatorial run, hoping to capitalize on upstate anger fueled largely by the Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act.
McLaughlin said it appears Republican Party leaders are coalescing behind Westchester County Rob Astorino, who has been considering a run of his own.
“I will say it does appear that the party infrastructure seems to be pushing for Rob,” McLaughlin said. “One thing I’ve said all along is we do not need to have a bloody primary battle, especially with underfunded candidates, and then turn around and try to take on a governor sitting on $30 million.”
When asked, McLaughin said he would “certainly consider” a run for lieutenant governor, but said it wasn’t currently on his mind.