NEW YORK – Real estate mogul Donald Trump said Friday he will not run for governor and criticized the state’s Republican Party for failing to unify behind him.
“While I won’t be running for Governor of New York State, a race I would have won,” he posted on Twitter, “I have much bigger plans in mind- stay tuned, will happen!”
The executive vice-president of the Trump Organization and special counsel to Trump, Michael Cohen, confirmed that Trump will not run but said he could not elaborate on Trump’s bigger plans.
Trump had been flirting with challenging Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo for a few months, but he had said he would run only if he faced no rival for the Republican nomination.
Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino announced this month that he will seek the Republican nomination for governor.
Trump said on Twitter that the New York Republican Party “can’t unify.” He tweeted, “The top leadership of the New York State Republican Party is totally dysfunctional – they haven’t won a major election in many years.”
Trump has toyed with running for office several times. He briefly discussed running for governor of New York in 2006 and talked about White House bids in 2000, 2004 and 2008 before pulling the plug every time.
He made his most substantial move toward running for president in 2012, giving speeches to a number of Republican groups and questioning whether President Barack Obama was born in the United States.
Several of New York’s Republican county leaders had been courting Trump to challenge Cuomo in November. Supporters see him as having the name recognition and money needed to successfully challenge Cuomo.
Potential voters favoured Cuomo over Astorino by 63 per cent to 28 per cent in a Quinnipiac University poll released last month before Astorino formally entered the race. Cuomo’s lead over Trump was 63 per cent to 26 per cent in the poll.