But for Giuliani, a former White House official and frequent golf partner of the 45th president, getting Trump’s support isn’t a slam dunk. The former president is said to be biased towards Rep. Lee Zeldin (RN.Y.), a longtime GOP congressman and friend of the Trump family, who has himself been put forward as a potential candidate.
Giuliani, whose interest in racing was first reported by the Washington Examiner, said he called the congressman earlier this week before announcing he was considering a gubernatorial run.
“Sometimes politics can get bloody, but the truth is we both want to figure out how to help save New York,” Giuliani said, adding that he had encouraged Trump to wait for the main GOP field to take shape before. to offer approval. “He will probably have a lot of allies in this area. The best thing to do is sit back and watch, attend a good, healthy primary and go from there. ”
Giuliani, who lived in Washington during Trump’s presidency, has no previous elected office experience and is 35 years old. He said he was first addressed about the race by major Republican donors at the end of March and that he intends to make a final decision later this month. He is currently scheduled to meet with Republican President of New York Nick Langworthy and a host of state GOP officials on April 19 to make his case for the post and seek their support.
Former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, who served under Mayor Giuliani’s administration, said he encouraged Giuliani to run for office. Giuliani also received support from former Trump campaign aide Boris Ephsteyn, who advised him informally on the race.
“He lived in this arena, he worked for President Trump for three years. I think between his experience in politics and having access to the advisers he would have, I think he would have a phenomenal campaign and I think he would make a great governor, ”said Kerik, who was convicted. for tax evasion in 2010, but later his sentence was commuted by Trump.
New York has not had a Republican governor since 2006 and is home to Democratic supermajorities in both houses of its state legislature. Nonetheless, Giuliani insisted that the political climate is ripe for a statewide Republican victory given current Governor Andrew Cuomo’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, rising crime rates and the state tax burden. If he did show up, Giuliani said he would focus on “promoting a pro-jobs and small business policy”, reducing crime rates statewide and expanding school choice for parents.
“I had big donors who started pushing and said, ‘We want you to do this.’ Three weeks ago, I wasn’t really thinking about it to be honest, ”he said.
Zeldin met Trump last month in Mar-a-Lago, according to Fox News, and was also encouraged by the former president’s allies to run for governor. He hasn’t made any public announcements but already seems to have the support of some of the president’s closest associates.
Senior Trump Jason Miller told Fox News on Tuesday: “I can’t think of any other candidate who doesn’t have Trump’s last name that MAGA supporters are more excited about potentially running for the job. governor in 2022 as Lee Zeldin. ” Miller did not respond to a request for comment in time for publication.
Cuomo himself is considering running for his fourth term next year, despite accusations of improper touching and sexual harassment from many women. The New York attorney general is investigating these allegations of sexual harassment and the governor has also come under fire for his handling and accounting of coronavirus deaths in nursing homes. Most of the New York Congressional delegation, including its two Democratic Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, called on Cuomo to step down. But he continues to have a positive approval rating among the state’s Democratic voters.
Cuomo’s approval rating hovered above 50% among New York voters according to a recent Morning consultation survey.