NY Daily News - 20 GOP consultants gathered to 2018 NY governor's race


NY Daily News - 20 GOP consultants gathered to 2018 NY governor's race

20 GOP consultants gathered to 2018 NY governor's race



Monday, December 11, 2017, 4:02 AM


The following is an expanded version of the second item from my "Albany Insider" column:

In a rare meeting, about 20 Republican consultants from across the state got together in Manhattan last week to talk about the upcoming governor’s race.

The group met at the behest of new Manhattan GOP Chairwoman Andrea Catsimatidis and largely agreed that wealthy business turnaround expert Harry Wilson would be the best candidate for the party.

But they also discussed the type of candidate they would need to challenge Gov. Cuomo should Wilson not run, those in attendance said.

Among the traits that would be best, they said, is a social moderate, fiscal conservative with a record of accomplishment and the resources to help fund a campaign. A woman would also be ideal, two attendees said.

”Harry checks off all but one of those boxes,” said one consultant.

Another consultant said the takeaway from the meeting is that “Cuomo is vulnerable. Harry would be terrific, but if not Harry, someone else. People should not be scared off by Cuomo. There is a pathway to victory.”

Also considering a run is state Senate Deputy Majority Leader John DeFrancisco, Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb, and Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro. The Buffalo News reported Sunday that former Erie County Executive Joel Giambra is also considering running.

Wilson in an email told the Daily News he still hasn’t made up his mind whether to run. He has previously said he would decide by Christmas.

The Republicans haven't won a statewide race in New York since George Pataki was elected to a third term as governor in 2002.

The 20 or so GOP consultants who attended the meeting made up a cross section of representation. Some were from upstate, some downstate. Some date back to winning campaigns by Pataki and ex-Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Others were part of more current races.

Some of those in attendance included Ed Laurie, David Catalfamo, Jake Menges, Chapin Fay, Mollie Fullington, Craig Eaton.

Also in attendance was Jonathan Trichter, a principal at MAEVA Municipal Solutions, which Wilson heads. Trichter is a Democratic consultant who worked for former Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s campaign and crossed party lines to work on Wilson’s 2010 unsuccessful run for state controller and has been helping the potential gubernatorial candidate as he’s moved around the state.

One source familiar with the discussions said Trichter said Wilson would run against Trump and the GOP and believes his story would transcend any anti-Trump or anti-Republican feelings in blue New York.

“His whole presentation was Trump doesn’t matter, what happened in the fall (when the Democrats made big gains in New York) doesn’t matter,” the source said. “The room came away from the presentation saying these guys are clueless. If this is their plan, God help us.”

But Trichter and four other attendees disputed the contention. They said Trichter was mainly listening and spoke up when the discussion turned to the need for someone with a record of accomplishment.

“I got the sense Trichter was listening and there to hear what our thoughts were,” one said. “I didn’t get a sense one way or the other that he had made a decision.”

Said another: “Trichter definitely had a message of what Harry would say, of what his bio would be.”

Wilson grew up upstate, has a business record of helping turnaround struggling businesses, and was tapped by Democratic President Barack Obama to help with the General Motors bailout.

Posted on 12 Dec 2017, 13:30 - Category: 2018 Election

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