Republicans gear up to run for governor in 2022
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he will not resign despite ongoing investigations against him and his office. However, Republicans from across the state are considering getting into next year's re-election race as resignation calls intensify.
In 2018, Republican Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro lost to Cuomo by more than 20 percentage points, but Molinaro did get 2.2 million votes. That’s more than what Cuomo received in 2014 and the most any Republican has received since former New York Gov. George Pataki in 2002.
Currently, Molinaro is focused on his county’s recovery from the pandemic. But he said he is considering running for governor again and he knows it’s a steep climb.
“You got to be organized, you got to be able to raise the money,” Molinaro said. “But you need to weave together coalitions of people from different demographics, regions of the state, but also different ideologies. There just aren’t enough Republican votes to win an election.”
He said anyone serious about running should make a decision before this summer and that the party should be united around a common theme: getting the state back on its feet.
“We can govern in a way that respects different opinions, but makes perfectly clear, we cannot tolerate corruption any longer, we cannot tolerate a state that overtaxes any longer, we cannot have a government that spends more than it should,” Molinaro said.
Finger Lakes Rep. Tom Reed (R-Corning) said he’s seriously considering running for governor and it’s been reported he’s hired staffers to work on his campaign. Reed said his work with the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus in the House is a governing style he could bring to Albany.
“Make no mistake about it, I recognize Governor Cuomo is the Goliath,” Reed said. “I’m just a simple country lawyer from Western New York that just still believes you can make a difference.”
If he chooses to run for governor, he would not run for reelection to Congress. Long Island Rep. Lee Zeldin said he’s also considering a bid for governor.
State Republican Chairman Nick Langworthy said the party is working earlier than ever before to vet potential candidates. He would like a consensus, sometime this summer and for the party to try to avoid a primary.
“I think there’s a level of dissatisfaction that we haven’t seen in sometime here,” Langworthy said. “It’s eerily similar to 1994, when George Pataki beat Mario Cuomo, who was reaching for a fourth term. I think history can repeat itself.”