Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani comes to town Thursday to endorse Republican Harry J. Wilson for comptroller during appearances at Erie County Republican Headquarters and a fund-raiser at the Clarence home of Assemblywoman Jane Corwin.
And while he stumps locally for Wilson, many will ask why he is not making similar endorsements for Buffalo's Carl P. Paladino -- at the top of the Republican ticket as the party's candidate for governor. Most local sources say such a move is just not in the cards, despite requests from Paladino supporters.
Interestingly, a Giuliani effort on behalf of local candidates is viewed far differently these days than in 1994. That's when local Republicans turned out en masse at Buffalo Niagara International Airport to protest him and his endorsement of Democratic incumbent Mario M. Cuomo.
Republican George E. Pataki carried Erie County by a significant margin that year, as he did in 1998 and 2002.
But now the former mayor campaigns in Erie County on behalf of Wilson, who is still regarded as a potential GOP bright spot this year despite sobering news from the latest Siena College poll (he trails incumbent Democrat Thomas P. DiNapoli 49 to 32 percent).
--Robert J. McCarthy