Minutes after attending the Lewis County Fair, Republican candidate for governor of the state of New York, Andrew Giuliani, seemed optimistic about his prospects to win the election next year.
In an exclusive interview for LPO, the 35-five-year-old former professional golf player talked about his first statewide poll, "we're actually up eight points and up 17 points in favorables. I think that's due to the fact that we've been to all 62 counties once already in New York. We did that within the first month and now we're on our second tour and we're going to keep on doing that over the next 15 months."
The son of former New York mayor and President Donald Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, received no votes from GOP county chairs or members of the Republican state committee at a straw poll in Albany on June 26th.
"I'd much rather be the candidate of the 2.9 million registered Republicans in New York State," said Giuliani, "not a couple of guys in a backroom in Albany taking deals for the rest of us. I look at it this way, we are building a grassroots campaign. That's going to be what's successful when it comes to voting time for the primary in June of next year and when it comes to the general election."
"Candidates don't get anointed in the United States of America. I want to make sure that New York Republicans get a chance to vote for the candidate who they believe should be governor and who should be their nominee."
The lifelong New Yorker, who was born and raised in Manhattan, told LPO he wants to be the "people's candidate."
"Whether or not we're the preferred party insider's candidate, I don't know, but I think we're starting to become the people's candidate."
Republicans have not won the deeply blue state since 2002 and registered Democrats outnumber Republicans 3 to 1.
In 2020, the Board of Elections of New York revealed that the number of people choosing to not enroll in a party increased at more than double the rate since 2016, with 273,401 voters registered as independents.
The Duke University alum is confident that the GOP has a real opportunity to win, "I think New Yorkers have seen the disastrous policy of Andrew Cuomo and his reign over the last 10 and a half years, but certainly in the last 18 months. They've seen not just his nursing home scandal and his sexual allegations, but then the 5.1 million dollars from his book deal. They've also seen businesses and jobs leave the state in droves, this mass Exodus."
"They've seen crime go up. In the primary last month for not just mayor of New York, but also Buffalo, the number one issue for Democrats across the state and exit polling was crime. When that holds true to be the case, what happens is you get the highest percentage of Democrats to cross over and vote for Republicans. That's why I think we have an incredible chance in 2022. With that being said, I think we are the best candidate to draw in independents and Democrats."
The NYPD Citywide Crime Statistics report for May 2021 showed that the overall index crime in New York City rose 22% compared with May 2020. For the month of June 2021, the number of murders and shooting incidents in New York City declined compared with June 2020.
Combatting crime is a centerpiece of his strategy to win the Latino community.
"Crime is a massive issue and unfortunately crime is rising the fastest in Latino and other minority areas. We want to make sure that we not just fully fund our police, but we want to fully train our police. Just like lawyers and doctors have continued education, I believe our police need continued education. That way they can really understand the modern-day challenges that they have in policing communities", Giuliani said.
An advocate for education and educational choice for minority groups, Giuliani said "I was very blessed that I had parents that sent me to a parochial school. I know that so many Hispanic Americans and many African American families want more charter schools in their neighborhoods as options. That way those tax dollars can follow their kids."
"Andrew Cuomo came into office saying that he was going to be a charter school advocate. Unfortunately, in this last budget, he kept the charter school cap at 460 statewide and he gave the UFT a 16% increase. For me, charter schools are that massive, important issue that we need to focus on for all communities," added Giuliani.
Asked by LPO about whether he believed his father's legacy would affect his bid for governor, Andrew replied, "I'm very proud of my father. The truth is I'm not going to run from my father. I'm very, very proud to be the son of the greatest mayor in the history of New York City, of the greatest US attorney in the history of the United States of America."
"I'm going to continue to rely on his advice. And if there's some people that don't like that, well I understand that, but I think there are a lot of New Yorkers that believe New York was in pretty good shape under the Giuliani years. I certainly would be a fool not to seek his advice."
Andrew Giuliani served as White House Associate Director of the Office of Public Liaison and Special Assistant to former President Donald Trump.
"I'm also not going to run from the fact that I worked for four years under President Trump. I'm proud of it. That's part of who I am and it's part of the person that I am today. It's given me a wealth of experience and it's also taught me that you need the private sector to help with public policy."
Giuliani trusts that the Republican Party will have an overwhelming triumph in the upcoming midterm elections, "I'm very optimistic about 2022, it's one of the reasons why I jumped in the race. I really believe that we can win this. I think that's going to start in New York, but that's going to continue throughout the country. I see Republicans flipping the house, I see them flipping the Senate."
"President Trump is the leader of our party and I think he's going to play a very important role."
"I saw him [Trump] a couple of weeks ago and we talked about his potential schedule in 2022. He's going to keep busy barnstorming the country for candidates all over our great country. I'm looking forward to what's going to be a very, very successful 2022, not just in New York, but all around the country."
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