Westchester County Executive Robert Astorino spent an hour behind closed doors with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and their wives in Arizona this week as Astorino considers a run against Gov. Andrew Cuomo next year.
The private talk between the two couples was among the high-profile meetings Astorino held at the Republican Governors Association this week in Phoenix. Christie today is set to be named the association’s chairman in 2014.
State GOP chairman Ed Cox, who accompanied Astorino on the trip, said the Republican county executive wooed potential political backers and donors.
“There are a number of people who really care about New York here, and they were eager to offer their support to him,” Cox said in a telephone interview from Arizona.
Astorino is viewed as Republicans’ best hope against Cuomo, who will be seeking a second term and has more than $28 million in campaign coffers.
Astorino is expected to make a formal decision in the coming months after he handily won a second term Nov. 5. The Post’s Fred Dicker reported Monday that one of Astorino’s considerations is the impact on his family.
Cox is high on Astorino, who also went with Cox to the Somos El Futuro conference in Puerto Rico earlier this month — a key stop for New York politicians.
“Everyone’s eager to turn New York around,” Cox said. “They recognize Cuomo’s not doing it and for them, Rob is a piece of fresh air because he’s sincere, he means it, he wants to put the right policies in place, and he has the political skills to run a gubernatorial election.”
Cox has made comparisons between Christie and Astorino — both are fiscal conservatives from Democratic areas, yet have been able to win election. Christie also won his second term on Nov. 5.
Christie is popular in New York. A Siena poll Monday showed that Christie would beat Cuomo in New York in a potential presidential matchup in 2016.