Support is lining up for presidential candidate Donald Trump amongst Republicans in New York. The state GOP confirmed that county chairs have been cleared to endorse Trump if they wish, including Rockland Chair Lawrence Garvey who released an endorsement recently.
Trump has been polling near 60 percent in his home state and has the strong support of the Carl Paladino wing of the state party. Holding up an official party endorsement, a source told the Rockland County Times, is the fact that 2014 gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino and his supporters in the party still hold resentment toward Trump over his dabbling in the 2014 governor’s race. Trump apparently told the GOP he’d only run for the gov’s nomination if all other candidates cleared the deck.
Sources also told the Rockland County Times that the party establishment support for Trump may end up being significant in the coming weeks. Initially Cox and co. had been lukewarm toward the real estate magnate. The state GOP, though officially neutral, has announced Trump as featured guest at the New York Republican Committee’s annual gala on April 14 in New York City, the party announced on Tuesday. The event will be held at the Grand Hyatt, five days before New York Republicans vote in the state’s presidential primary.
“We are thrilled to welcome Republican presidential candidate and fellow New Yorker Donald Trump to our event,” said Chairman Ed Cox. “This year has become one of the most exciting and vital presidential elections in many years. New York Republicans are more motivated than ever to take back the White House, and for the first time in a long time, will play a decisive role by their votes in the April 19 presidential primary. The excitement is palpable, and we expect this event to be a great success.”
The party also insisted the other two candidates remaining in the race, John Kasich and Ted Cruz, have been invited to attend as well. The joint honoree at the gala will be New Mexico Gov. Susan Martinez.