Celebrity billionaire Donald Trump told a group of more than 40 Republican leaders today that he would want a united party if he runs for governor, a spokesman said.
Trump spent more than two hours behind closed doors with county GOP chairmen across the New York and other party leaders as they encourage him to run for governor this fall against Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat.
Trump told the group that he would need to see the party unified behind him if he were to run, said spokesman Michael Cohen.
Presently, state GOP chairman Ed Cox is supporting Westchester County Executive Robert Astorino, who said he will make a decision within 60 days on whether to run for governor.
Trump said he would make a decision by the end of the month, Cohen said.
“The meeting was upbeat and positive with all those in attendance showing interest to support Mr. Trump should he elect to run,” Cohen told Gannett’s Albany Bureau.
“Mr. Trump concluded by stating that he would want to see a united Republican Party and would make a decision by the end of this month.”
Updated: Trump told the Buffalo News that if he had the party’s support, “I would do it and I think I’d win.”
Today was the second meeting at his Manhattan offices with Republicans leaders. He first rejected the idea of running, but then said he would consider it after the first meeting Dec. 4.
Republican leaders were also set to meet this afternoon with Cox in the city. Astorino and Trump, meanwhile, met yesterday.
Assemblyman Bill Nojay, R-Pittsford, Monroe County, said it’s not a case of Astorino versus Trump.
“I think the Republican Party is actually in very good shape,” said Nojay, who attended both meetings. “If Donald Trump is the candidate, we have a strong candidate. Or if Rob Astorino is the candidate, we have a strong candidate. So either way, the Republicans are well positioned.”