The New York County GOP held its annual Lincoln Day dinner Wednesday with featured speaker and real estate mogul Donald Trump who is considering running for governor against incumbent Andrew Cuomo. NY1's Zack Fink filed the following report.
At a private VIP reception before the dinner, there was a receiving line to meet Donald Trump. Donors paid up to a thousand dollars a piece to get their picture taken with the Donald. Trump says he is still on the fence about running for governor.
"Well the Republican Party very much wants me to. The leaders were all up in the office today. They want me to. If the party can unify, which is a big statement, but if the party can for once unify, I would absolutely do it," Trump said.
Earlier in the day, Trump met with 25 GOP chairmen from around the state, but sources say he wouldn't commit to running then either. Governor Andrew Cuomo has amassed $33 million for his re-election effort this year -- chump change for the host of TV's "The Apprentice", apparently.
"That's all right. That's not a lot of money. Fortunately for me that's not a lot of money. For other people maybe it is," Trump said.
Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino recently opened an account with state Board of Elections, a sign he plans on running. Party leaders want to avoid a messy primary.
Donald Trump: Well, we'll see what happens. I know him very well and he's a nice guy but he's not going to win.
Zack Fink: How come?
Donald Trump: I just don't think he can win.
Sponsors of the annual dinner say its one of the oldest Republican events in the entire country.
"Well it's turned into one of the most successful dinners we have had here in New York county, in the history of our party. This is our 84th annual Lincoln Day dinner. We have never generated this much excitement before," said New York County GOP Chairman Daniel Isaacs.
In his speech Trump said if he is elected governor he will cut every New Yorkers' taxes in half. However, once again he stopped short of announcing his candidacy.
As of now there is still no declared GOP candidate for governor.