Several Republicans who have been discussed as possible 2018 gubernatorial candidates are scheduled to address the annual Conservative Party conference on Sunday and Monday in Albany.
Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan (R-East Northport), Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro and businessman Harry Wilson are among the announced speakers, as is Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley).
Astorino was the GOP gubernatorial candidate in 2014 and has said he may run. Newsday recently reported that Flanagan has told GOP leaders he is considering it. Molinaro has said previously that party officials asked him to consider running in 2018. Wilson, who ran for state comptroller in 2010, reportedly has told Conservative Party officials he is thinking of running.
Zeldin said in a recent radio interview that a Republican running on populist themes could win in New York in 2018, sparking scuttlebutt that he’s thinking about running, although the second-term congressman said he’s focused on his current job.
Conservative Party backing often is seen as crucial to Republicans running statewide.
Democrat Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has said he is running for re-election.
Other speakers at the Conservative gathering include newly elected Sen. Elaine Phillips (R-Flower Hill).