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BY: Jennifer Lysiak, Lancaster Editor | February 06, 2014

LANCASTER- Known as a real-estate tycoon, bestselling author, star of a successful reality show, and international philanthropist…what’s next for Donald J. Trump?

Maybe, running for New York State governor?

Trump arrived in Buffalo Friday, Jan. 31, to speak at the Erie County Republican Committee’s Lincoln Leadership Reception held at Salvatore’s Italian Gardens, in Depew. With more than 600 people in attendance, Trump’s appearance made the reception the largest the committee has ever held, said Republican Committee Chairman Nicholas A. Langworthy.

Before making his way inside, Trump was greeted by a rally of people, who believe Trump should campaign and serve as the next New York State governor.

“It’s a welcoming rally for governor-to-be Trump, we hope,” said Rus Thompson, spokesperson for Team New York. “Basically, the whole reason why we are out here is we are trying to help convince Donald Trump to get in this race to run for governor. We really feel he is the only one that can beat Cuomo and he’s got the name recognition and the wherewithal, and the ability to be able to beat Cuomo.”

Thompson explained the economy is an absolute disaster and a recent report stated New York is the highest taxed state in the entire country.

“We have the most dysfunctional legislature and Cuomo promised to clean things up,” said Thompson. “Everything he promises to do, he has failed at.”

Also, joining the “welcoming committee” were members of Shooters Committee on Political Education (SCOPE), who held signs to rescind the Safe Act.

“We are not going away on that,” remarked Thompson. “We are not backing down on the second amendment. We want the Safe Act repealed plain and simple. Cuomo’s solution is more governing. Government is the problem. Government needs to get out of the way. We need someone to get into the Capitol Building and do the job of a CEO. A political can’t be a CEO, but they know how to spend your money very well.”

During the reception Trump took center stage at the podium and spoke like a true candidate, hitting points of many concerns of Western New Yorkers, but Trump said he will only run for governor if New York's Republican Party rallies behind him, and nobody challenges him for the nomination.

“I think the Republicans can absolutely win the gubernatorial election, but I feel strongly it has to be unified,” said Trump. “It has to be united, because you can’t have people going into a horrible contest with each other. Knocking the hell out of each other in the primaries, spending millions of dollars, and then somebody comes out wounded and limping.”

Favored by some in the GOP establishment, Rob Astorino, an official in suburban Westchester County, has been traveling around the state talking to potential supporters.

“If they can’t unify, I have other things to do,” Trump told reporters.

During his speech, Trump said New York has tremendous potential. It is a beautiful place, but there is a lack of respect if you look at what’s going on in the current government.

“You need strong leadership and you honestly don’t have that strong leadership right now at the top level,” said Trump. “I love this state. It’s called the Empire State, but it’s really not the Empire State anymore. People are fleeing. It’s the No. 1 state in the United States for fleeing. People are leaving. Your children are leaving, your grandchildren are leaving, and who could blame them? They can’t get jobs.”

Trump spoke of high taxes, which once again are the highest in the country. He also said New York State is $385 billion in debt and there is no chance of paying that off, unless something is changed.

Trump said hydraulic fracturing, which is currently prohibited in New York, would solve the state’s debt.

“I just happen to think this state can be turned around,” Trump said. “I believe if I ran, and if I won, we would become one of the greatest energy capitals of this world. What’s going to pay that debt? Energy is going to pay off the debt.”

Furthermore, Trump criticized the Safe Act and said he calls it the “unsafe act.” He added he is a huge second amendment person.

“We know one thing for sure the bad guys are going to keep their guns. The fact is you need protection. When a guy walks into a movie theater and starts blasting everybody and everybody’s sitting their defenseless, I would at least love to have a couple shots at this guy,” Trump said.

Saying New York is the most unfriendly business state in the entire nation, Trump called the governor’s plan “stupid,” which exempts new businesses from taxes. Under the program, businesses have the opportunity to operate completely tax-free for 10 years on eligible campuses and spaces. Businesses will partner with the higher education institutions in the SUNY system as well as other universities and be able to access industry experts and advanced research laboratories.

According to reports, Cuomo has said he expects businesses will be rooted in the state by then and wouldn't leave. As a result, they would start paying taxes, although the companies couldn't be bound to stay in New York longer.

A decision on whether Trump will seek the Republican nomination for governor is slated for February.

“It is a great place, Buffalo,” remarked Trump. “I have friends from Buffalo and Buffalo is suffering badly. It’s failing. It’s not going to be here very long. Buffalo is really emblematic of what’s wrong with this state and we can turn that around. Buffalo can be a thriving state.”

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