WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- Billionaire businessman Donald Trump has announced he will not be a candidate in the New York gubernatorial race, enhancing Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino's chances of gaining the Republican nomination.
"While I won't be running for Governor of New York State, a race I would have won, I have much bigger plans in mind," Trump said in a Tweet posted Friday night. "Stay tuned, will happen!"
After months of speculation that Trump might enter the race, Astorino said in late February that Trump should end the "circus stuff" and announce whether or not he's running.
Astorino began actively campaigning to gain the nomination to challenge Democratic incumbent Andrew Cuomo on March 6, one day after officially announcing he was a candidate . Astorino cited rising taxes, poor business conditions, corrupt government and record-breaking electric costs as characteristics of current Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration.
Trump had posted a Tweet saying "Internal polling shows that I would swamp @RobAstorino in a NY Republican primary 77% to 23%. But won’t run if party is not unified."
That followed another Trump Tweet in late December in which he said, "I like Rob Astorino. He's a friend and a really good guy. Sadly, he has ZERO chance of beating Cuomo and the 2 to 1 Dems for governor!"