Upstate Republican Assemblyman, Steve McLaughlin, has announced that he is considering a run against Governor Cuomo in 2014. McLaughlin has been perhaps the most vocal critic of the governor, a staunch supporter of the constitutional right to bear arms, and has spearheaded efforts to, as he says, “drain the swamp” in New York, fighting to weed out corruption in Albany politics.
Via Fred Dicker:
An AGGRESSIVE upstate lawmaker who backs gun rights and Texas-style low taxes and calls Gov. Cuomo a “bully” has emerged as a likely — some say certain — Republican candidate against Cuomo next year, The Post has learned.
Rensselaer County Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin, 49, a former commercial pilot who in February compared Cuomo to Hitler over the way the governor rammed through the anti-gun SAFE Act, has privately told legislative colleagues he’s planning to run.
McLaughlin, who works part-time as a salesman for a solar-energy firm, was introduced last week at an anti-SAFE Act rally in Albany “as the next governor of the state of New York.” State GOP Chairman Ed Cox recently described him to an associate as being on his “short list” of gubernatorial candidates.
“I am considering running for governor,” McLaughlin told The Post.
“It took 12 years for people to get sick of Mario Cuomo, but upstate and, I think, on Long Island, people are already sick of Andrew Cuomo.”
McLaughlin added that the disdain for Cuomo is bipartisan, stating that Assembly Democrats have even told him “he’s a pain in the ass and is always trying to follow a path of dictating and bullying people”.
And that is why Dicker used the word ‘aggressive’ in all CAPs.
While being an aggressive supporter of conservative ideals, McLaughlin should not be confused with Cuomo’s last conservative opponent, Carl Paladino. There is a distinct difference in styles, and a distinct difference between being aggressive and being over the top.
While McLaughlin would be a big underdog in a matchup with Cuomo (the governor already has $22 million in his war chest), the current political climate may give the challenger an opening.
There is strong upstate distrust for Cuomo after his embarrassing unconstitutional gun grab via the SAFE Act, and with politicians being arrested for corruption on a seemingly weekly basis, the governor’s approval rating has been in a consistent downward trend recently.
A new poll released today shows his approval, while still in relatively good shape, has hit a personal low at 58%. It should be noted that the polls sample was skewed 47% Democrat, 23% Republican.
Will McLaughlin simply be a Republican sacrificial lamb, or does he have a real shot at unseating Governor Cuomo?
Only time will tell…