DEPEW — Real estate mogul and reality TV star Donald Trump provided a preview Friday of what a Trump-for-governor campaign might look like.
At an upstate New York fundraiser, he called New York's new gun control laws a disaster, criticized Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo's tax policies for businesses, and supported fracking for natural gas.
Trump was the featured speaker at the $100-per-person event held by the Erie County Republican Party that drew more than 600 people, a record crowd for the county party.
But he came no closer to committing to challenge Cuomo, repeating his oft-told condition that he'll only run if the state's Republican Party rallies behind him and he faces no challengers for the nomination.
"You can't have people going in, knocking the hell out of each other in a primary, spending millions of dollars and then someone comes out wounded and limping," he said.
Rob Astorino, an official in suburban Westchester County, is favored by some in the GOP establishment and has been traveling around the state talking to potential supporters.
"If they can't unify, I have other things to do," Trump told reporters after his address.
For many in the crowd, the well-known Trump represents the Republicans' best chance at defeating Cuomo.
The fundraiser dinner was a veritable who's who of Erie County Republicans with a healthy smattering of Niagara County GOP members added in, including City of Lockport GOP Chairman Pete Robinson. Also at the event were former Niagara County Republican Chairmen Henry Wojtaszek and Mike Norris and current chairman Scott Kiedrowski.
“To be honest with you, I’m really excited to see that he’s taken an interest in this part of New York State," Robinson said before Trump's speech.