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Taking another step closer to declaring his candidacy, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, a Republican, is forming a campaign exploratory committee, aides said Monday.
Astorino has been inching closer to saying he will challenge Democrat Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo. Recently, Astorino said he’d make a decision in February.
"County Executive Astorino continues to go through the process of weighing his candidacy and will be taking the step this week of filing an exploratory committee with the Board of Elections," said Astorino spokeswoman Jessica Proud. "Rob remains committed to speaking with Republican and Conservative (Party) leaders, as well New Yorkers from across the state to discuss how to put New York back in the winning column."
Michael Lawler will step down from his post as executive director of the state Republican Committee to manage Astorino’s exploratory committee, Proud said.
Last week, Donald Trump said he was still considering running against Cuomo – but only if GOP cleared the field for him. He said he wouldn’t run if Astorino does.