Spin Cycle

News, views and commentary on Long Island, state and national politics.

The top elected Republican in New York said Monday Rob Astorino likely will be the party’s gubernatorial candidate and cast doubt on the notion that Donald Trump was ever “totally serious” about running.

“I believe Rob will be the candidate,” Senate co-leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) said about the Westchester County executive. Astorino has been inching closer to announcing his candidacy, saying he’d likely make a decision this month.

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Skelos said Astorino, who just got re-elected in a heavily Democrat county, “will be an excellent candidate.

Skelos threw cold water on the idea of Trump becoming the GOP candidate, as some rank-and-file party members have advocated.

"I have a lot of respect for Donald Trump. I don't know if he was totally serious about this,” Skelos said. “It’s a huge task to run statewide for governor. He has his TV show. He has a lot of other things on his plate. I don’t know whether he has time.”

Asked if he thought Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo was “vulnerable,” Skelos said: “Everybody in politics is vulnerable .?.?. You don’t know how the issues will play out.”

Skelos and Senate Republicans often have touted their ability to work with Cuomo to achieve balanced budgets and keep spending relatively flat over three years. But that doesn’t mean Skelos would endorse the governor.

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“I’ve indicated to Rob and I’ve indicated to the governor: I’m a Republican and I’m going to support the Republican nominee,” Skelos said.