Chautauqua County Executive Greg Edwards (R).
MAYVILLE, N.Y. - Many people thought a local politician would challenge Andrew Cuomo in the race for Governor, especially when Chautauqua County Executive Greg Edwards revealed he's leaving office a month and a half early before his term expires.
As Carl Paladino's Republican running mate for governor in 2010, Edwards, a candidate for lieutenant governor that year, has statewide name recognition. His name has been floated by Republican Party bigwigs as a possible candidate for governor.
We asked him about the 2014 race, and his answer may surprise some political observers.
REPORTER: Are you going to run for governor in 2014?
EDWARDS: Well, it really has been a compliment that a number of folks from around a variety of areas have asked me that question, and I'm pleased to announce that the Gebbie Foundation located in Jamestown, New York has just hired me as their chief executive officer and I begin in mid-November. So, I will not be running for any office.
REPORTER: What about four years later?
EDWARDS: You know, I never say never because situations change, but I can see this job as one that I can have a long, successful career in.
REPORTER: Your ticket ended up losing by a substantial amount. Did that have any effect on your decision about next year?
EDWARDS: None. Because I think the issues were right. That tsunami of support was based on those issues -- jobs and opportunities, and the fact that the state was heading in the wrong direction. I think many of those issues still exits.
Aside from Edwards, not a single Republican being mentioned as a possible candidate for governor next year is from West of Albany, unless Paladino decides at the last minute to get into the race.
Whoever the nominee is, however, will probably have a tall order with Governor Cuomo once again climbing in the polls.