New York State Republican Party Chairman Nick Langworthy says former President Donald Trump is keeping a close eye on New York politics, despite living down in Florida.
The former president will be fundraising for the state Republican Party at an event in Westchester next month, which was exclusively first reported by Spectrum News 1. Tickets range from a $1,000 per person to $25,000 per couple, with top-tier tickets providing a photo opportunity with Trump.
“He will always be a New Yorker," Langworthy said. "Even if he's legally a Floridian at this point, he still very much cares about the future of our state, our city and what's going on in our government. He shares a lot of the same frustration that many of us do.”
The Republican Party is currently gearing up for a tough gubernatorial run in 2022.
County leaders from across New York recently chose U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin as the “presumed nominee” running for governor next year, although this straw poll was non-binding.
The party is attempting to avoid a primary, but numerous other candidates have said they have no plans of stepping away.
Andrew Giuliani, son of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, Lewis County Sheriff Michael Carpinelli and Derrick Gibson all have said they plan to take their campaigns through June of next year.
But a primary would be costly and whoever the Republican Party ends up choosing as the Republican nominee could very well end up facing Gov. Andrew Cuomo in a general election.
Cuomo is facing numerous scandals, including sexual harassment allegations, his administration’s handling of COVID-19 related nursing home deaths and he is juggling at least three separate investigations.
Despite this, Cuomo has been continuing to line his massive campaign war chest, forcing Republicans to look elsewhere to help them raise money.
Rep. Zeldin, one of Trump’s fiercest advocates, has toned down his MAGA rhetoric in recent months as he campaigns around the state, since he will need to appeal to both sides of the aisle if he wants any shot winning a statewide office.
Registered Democratic voters outnumber Republicans by more than two to one in New York, with that gap continuing to grow.
But Trump’s ability to fundraise has made him an attractive headliner to the state Republican Party.
“We’re raising funds for the New York Republican Party and obviously, President Trump is a very large draw,” Langworthy admitted on Friday. “He's someone that there's a lot of enthusiasm surrounding him coming home to New York to do a fundraiser for us. But you know let's face it, this is a big ticket for the State Republican Party. I haven't talked to Congressman Zeldin about it yet but I'm sure we will be very soon.”
Langworthy met with Trump a few weeks ago, but says the former president has not officially endorsed a candidate yet.