Assemblyman Kieran Michael Lalor wrote an op-ed today in the New York Post saying that New York Republicans should reject overtures to Donald Trump and focus on Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino as its candidate to challenge Gov. Andrew Cuomo in November.
“Donald Trump is wasting our time. He won’t wind up running for governor because he’d lose, and by an embarrassingly wide margin. Trump knows that; it’s what the polls say and he isn’t delusional — he’s a showman playing a character. He’s looking for some headlines because that’s his MO,” Lalor wrote.
Lalor, a freshman GOP lawmaker from Fishkill, Dutchess County, is echoing the calls of some GOP leaders, particularly state GOP chairman Ed Cox, who has sided with Astorino.
There are plenty of Republican leaders, however, who are with Trump and have met three times with him to try to woo him into the race. Trump said he would do it if the party cleared the deck for him, meaning Astorino nor anyone else would also seek the party’s nomination.
Lalor said it doesn’t work that way.
“Sorry: That’s not how our system works. Voters pick the candidates; a celebrity doesn’t get to simply demand that he be the nominee,” Lalor wrote.
Lalor called Astorino a “a proven winner. He beat an incumbent to become Westchester executive in 2009 and won re-election handily this past November in a county where Democrats outnumber Republicans by 2 to 1. He earned 60 percent of the Hispanic vote and 25 percent of the African-American vote. Astorino wrote the book on how conservative Republicans can win in blue states.”
Astorino is expected to make an announcement on his plans in the next week or so.