Skelos: I’ll support GOP candidate for governor, and “it appears that it’s going to be Rob Astorino”

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Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos, R-Nassau County, said today he believes Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino will run for governor and be the party’s nominee.

Skelos has had a strong working relationship with Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and the two have heaped praise on one another.

“I’ve said this pubskeloslibouslicly that I’m going to support the Republican candidate for governor, and it appears that it’s going to be Rob Astorino,” Skelos said in an interview with Gannett’s Albany Bureau.

Skelos complimented Astorino, who is expected to make his announcement official in the coming days. Astorino spoke a few weeks ago to Senate Republicans in Albany.

“I like him. He’s done a decent job in Westchester, and I think he’ll be a good candidate,” Skelos said.

Skelos said he doesn’t believe celebrity billionaire Donald Trump will run for the nomination. Trump said he would run if he had a clear path to the party’s nomination.

“If he wants to run, then he would have a primary. I don’t see him running,” Skelos said.

Astorino also gained praise from Sen. Thomas Libous, Skelos’ deputy from Binghamton.

Astorino is heading to a fundraiser tomorrow night in Binghamton, and Libous plans to attend.

“If he announces, I would see no reason why I wouldn’t support him,” Libous said.

Carl Paladino, the GOP nominee in 2010, said he might run for governor again if Astorino is the candidate and he doesn’t condemn Skelos and Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb, R-Canandaigua, Ontario County. Astorino has said he wouldn’t do so.

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