By Tom Precious
ALBANY – Donald Trump may be thinking about a run for governor in New York, but he’s heading across the Hudson River to help raise money for a local New Jersey GOP group.
The Daily Record newspaper is reporting today that Trump will be the keynote speaker at the Somerset County Republican Party’s annual Lincoln Day dinner on Feb. 26. People will have to pay the local party group $80 to hear Trump speak.
Some GOP leaders in New York have urged Trump to get around the state - more than just his very brief trek to Buffalo last week -- and meet with GOP organizations if he is serious about running for governor. But Trump has demanded that the New York GOP clear the way for him – no campaigning, no convention fight, no primary – if he is to run for governor on the GOP line.
By the time Trump speaks in New Jersey, it may all be moot anyway. Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino is promising a decision by the end of this month about whether he will seek the GOP nomination to run against Gov. Andrew Cuomo in the fall. If Astorino announces, Trump has indicated he won’t run.
UPDATE: The New York State GOP sent around an invitation this evening from the New York County Republican Committee for its annual Lincoln Day dinner on Feb. 12 that will feature Trump as the keynote speaker. Tickets for the event at the Grand Hyatt start at $500 and go to $1,000 for "preferred seating'' and a photo op presumably with Trump.