Orleans GOP leader met with Trump in NYC

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 11 January 2014 at 12:00 am

‘It would be tremendous to have him on the top of the ticket.’- Ed Morgan, Orleans County GOP chairman

Photos courtesy of Ed Morgan – Donald Trump, left, poses for a photo with Ed Morgan, Orleans County Republican Party chairman, at a meeting in New York City on Friday.

Talk of Donald Trump running for governor of New York isn’t a publicity stunt, said Ed Morgan, the Orleans County Republican Party chairman.

“I think he’s in it, but he’s not yet 100 percent,” Morgan said this morning.

Trump, a billionaire real estate developer and a TV personality, is serious about challenging Andrew Cuomo this November. Morgan was among 30 to 35 Republican Party leaders in the state to meet with Trump on Friday at the Trump Tower in New York City.

Trump told the GOP leaders he wants to run for governor, but only if the party unites around him. He doesn’t want a divisive primary against Ron Astorino, the Westchester County Executive.

Trump expects to make a decision in the next two to three weeks. Morgan said a Trump candidacy would be a big coup for Republicans, who are vastly outnumbered by Democrats for state-wide positions.

“It would inject a lot of adrenaline in the party,” Morgan said. “It would be tremendous to have him at the top of the ticket.”

Trump presented his case to the GOP chairmen, Morgan said. Trump said the state’s high tax burden has driven away businesses and residents. Trump as governor would push for significant tax cuts to improve the business climate.

“I love this state, and I see where it’s going,” he told The Buffalo News. “We’re going to be another Detroit.”

Trump connected with the Republican leaders on Friday, coming across as a regular guy, Morgan said.

Donald Trump meets with Republican Party leaders from different counties in the state during a session on Friday.

“He’s not as sarcastic, bombastic and showboating as you see on TV,” Morgan said.

Morgan serves as regional chairman for the Republican Party in Western New York. If Trump pursues the position, Morgan said Trump agreed to appear at many of the counties this year, which would energize the Republican base. Trump also said he would self-finance his campaign if he runs for governor.

Morgan said Cuomo has already stirred the passions of conservatives, particularly with the SAFE Act, a controversial gun control measure. Gun owners have criticized the legislation as an infringement on their Second Amendment rights. A new organization, New York Revolution, is trying to unite gun owners to unseat Cuomo as governor.

Trump cited the groundswell of opposition to Cuomo with the SAFE Act in making the governor vulnerable for re-election.

“He awakened a sleeping giant,” Morgan said about Cuomo’s leadership with the SAFE Act.