Andrew Giuliani to challenge Cuomo for New York governor, vows ‘epic showdown’ to save the state

Andrew Giuliani, son of famed former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, will formally announce on Tuesday he is running as a GOP candidate for governor of New York.

What’s more, he is confident he can not only capture the GOP nomination for the 2022 race, but that he can beat an embattled Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo who has been widely criticized for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, despite his near-universal praise in the media as well as several allegations of sexual misconduct.

“I’m a politician out of the womb. It’s in my DNA,” Giuliani, 35, told the New York Post, in reference to growing up the son of the mayor who brought order to New York City streets and led the city’s initial response to the devastating Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The younger Giuliani said he wants to turn next year’s gubernatorial contest into another “Fight of the Century,” a reference to a famous 1971 heavyweight boxing title fight.

“Giuliani vs. Cuomo. Holy smokes. It’s Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier. We can sell tickets at Madison Square Garden,” said Giuliani, who served as a White House aide to former President Donald Trump during his four-year term.

Though his public service experience is limited — he’s never run for an office before — he insisted to The Post he’s more than qualified to take on the three-term Democratic governor.

“It would be one of the epic showdowns in the state’s history,” said Giuliani, who added that he plans to run as a candidate who wants to change the state’s status-quo party machine-style governance like his father when he ran for NYC mayor and like Trump in 2016.

He plans to run on a platform that embraces business and growth, is supportive of police, and promotes school choice for all New York families.

While he does not have his father’s reputation of being a tough prosecutor who successfully battled the Mafia, the younger Giuliani certainly has his father’s brashness and confidence, The Post noted.

“I know we can defeat Andrew Cuomo in 2022. I am going to be the 57th governor of New York,” he said.

Giuliani went on to hit Cuomo over his decision to force nursing homes to accept COVID-positive seniors in March 2020, a decision he said led to thousands of needless deaths. That same order prohibited nursing homes from even testing incoming patients for the virus.

“It was Andrew Cuomo’s actions that killed 9,000 senior citizens in nursing homes in New York. He should have resigned,” Giuliani said.

“Cuomo didn’t use the USS Comfort ship or the Javits Center to house seniors with COVID. He didn’t want to give President Trump a political victory,” he added.

The race between Giuliani and Cuomo would pit two famous New York political dynasties against each other; Andrew Cuomo’s father, Mario Cuomo, was governor of New York during Rudy Giuliani’s first year as NYC mayor in 1994.

But first, the younger Giuliani will have to win the GOP primary, which will include running against U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin and former Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, who challenged and lost to Cuomo as the Republican nominee for governor in 2014.

Zeldin became the first GOP contender to declare his candidacy for governor, and as such has already obtained much of the support of the Republican Party apparatus in the state, The Post reported.

But Giuliani is undaunted, telling the paper he is confident he can outraise his GOP competitors and vowing to visit all 62 counties in New York.

“I believe we have the best chance to win if I’m the Republican candidate in November. It’s not even close,” he said. “You’re going to have more enthusiasm in the race.”

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Jon Dougherty

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