U.S. Rep. Tom Reed said he is “not ruling out” a run to challenge Gov. Andrew Cuomo for the state’s top job.
The Corning Republican, during his weekly phone conference with the press in his district Wednesday, noted that “we have been approached by numerous individuals across the state about a candidacy for governor,” he said. “I appreciate that conversation, and I’m not ruling it out because what I see in Albany right now is one-party control that is pushing the state in a direction that jeopardizes the future potential of New York as the Empire State.
“If I can be part of the effort to take on that one-party control, and govern in the spirit of a Charlie Baker or Larry Hogan — the governors of Massachusetts and Maryland — I will support that candidacy and I appreciate people considering us to do that, to take that action,” he added. “We’ll see how it unfolds, but we’re not ruling it out.”
Reed added that Cuomo, the three-term Democrat, has shifted further away from the political mainstream since first entering the governor’s office in 2011, and added that the State of the State address given Wednesday was “a tripling-down of of his commitment to this more extreme ideology that has overtaken Albany.”
Reed added, “I see him capitulating to that overtaking of the Democratic Party by the extreme, hard left and one-party control.”
Reed said he is actively working on reelection in November, but has not decided, if successful this year, if he will run for governor or the new congressional district, which will contain his home after the 2020 Census and subsequent redistricting.
“We’ll see how this unfolds,” he said, adding his concern is not with the new district lines, “but what the people want.”
If Reed — the longest-tenured Republican in the state’s congressional delegation after Peter King, who is retiring at the end of the year — were to run for governor, it could be an uphill battle.
In Cuomo’s third election in 2018, he received more votes than any candidate for governor in the state’s history. Meanwhile, no Republican has won a statewide office in almost two decades — the last was then-Gov. George Pataki winning a third term in 2002. The state has elected four Republican governors in the past 100 years, compared to eight Democrats.
In addition, following the 2018 loss of the state Senate to Democrats, eight Republican state senators — including Olean’s Catharine Young — resigned or announced they would leave the chamber at the end of their terms.
However, the election served as a wake-up call to the party, leading to overhauls in the state party structure.
Erie County Republican Chairman Nick Langworthy was named head of the state party, and he has moved aggressively to challenge Democrats across the state.
The state GOP heavily backed new state Sen. George Borrello, R-Bemus Point, while the state Democrats offered no support to his opponent, Freedom resident Austin Morgan, in the November special election to fill the seat left open by Young.
(Contact City Editor Bob Clark at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter, @OTHBob)