Former Erie County Executive Joel Giambra announces gubernatorial run

Local News

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Former Erie County Executive Joel Giambra announced Wednesday that he will run for New York State governor as a Republican in 2018.

In a press release issued Wednesday, Giambra criticized Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State address, saying the governor offered no insight into how he would restructure the state’s tax code to meet what he called the “economic arrow” of the new federal tax law that he said punishes New York and other blue states.

“It was more of the same from the governor,” said Giambra, “and he didn’t say where the money was going to come from to fix the subway system, the bridges, and everything else under the sun that he mentioned in a speech that was short on substance and filled with expensive promises with no sign of where the money was going to come from.”

Giambra’s announcement means there are a total of three Republicans who have at least said they intend to run for the state’s highest office. Last month, New York Assembly minority leader Brian Kolb from Canandagua, officially announced his campaign — telling News 4 sister station WROC in Rochester that Empire State voters are ready for change.

“I think they’ll have a better chance this time around,”

That’s over-arching Republican theme for New York’s 2018 gubernatorial race, political analyst and Republican Erie County Legislator Kevin Hardwick told News 4 in December.

But Hardwick said downstate businessman Harry Wilson may have the best shot in 2018.

“I think there’s a lot of buzz around Harry Wilson,” Hardwick said in December. “I think he’s an excellent candidate. He’s a guy who’s taken companies and he’s fixed them. And his message is going to be, I can do for New York State what I did for those companies.”

It also may be good timing for Republicans, who haven’t won a statewide race in New York since George Pataki in 2002.

That’s because of federal investigations surrounding the Buffalo Billion and an early December announcement about the FBI investigating hiring practices within the executive office.

“I think Cuomo has some baggage,” Hardwick said. “And the longer you’re in office, the longer you have baggage. There’s this theory of shelf life. Voters get tired if it’s the same person in office year after year, especially if it’s an executive office.”

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