By Robert J. McCarthy
Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, sounding more and more like a Republican candidate for governor in 2014, will travel to Buffalo on Dec. 18 for the Erie County Republican Committee's annual holiday party.
Erie County GOP Chairman Nicholas A. Langowrthy said Astorino asked to attend the affair in his first upstate foray since a solid re-election win last month. "It's his first travel in New York outside Westchester, and he wants it to be in Buffalo," Langworthy said.
Astorino, who also visited Western New York last summer to introduce himself to area Republicans, has been discussing a possible challenge to incumbent Democrat Andrew M. Cuomo for months. But he has also picked up his pace in recent weeks following his re-election, where he scored a substantial victory in a county dominated 2 to 1 by Democrats.
The Republican event is slated for the Hyatt Regency Buffalo.
His visit follows on the heels of efforts this week by several Republican legislators and strategists to entice real estate mogul Donald Trump into the race. Following a meeting in his Manhattan office last week, Trump told his supporters -- including Assemblyman David J. DiPietro of East Aurora -- that he would think about their suggestion over the holidays.