Former Erie County Executive Joel A. Giambra confirmed Wednesday he is seeking the Republican nomination for governor in November’s election.
“I’ve hired consultants. I’m putting together a team,” Giambra told The Buffalo News Wednesday evening. “I’m a candidate for the Republican nomination."
“At this point,” Giambra said, “I haven’t talked to enough county chairs and Republican Party leaders. Right now I’m working hard to convince them that I might have the best chance as a Republican to win in November.”
Giambra, 60, declared his intentions in answer to a reporter’s question at a news conference late Wednesday afternoon in the offices of Liberty Cab on Kenmore Avenue, where he was responding to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s State of the State address.
Although Giambra has been considered as a potential candidate for several weeks, his spokesman, Tony Farina, said that a formal announcement of his candidacy had not been planned.
“I guess it’s fair game now,” Farina told The News. “He’s been working at it for a little bit and, frankly, he’s been well received. He’s anxious to talk about the issues facing the state and change the way things are done.”
One issue Giambra wants to bring into focus is campaign finance reform.
“When candidates and elected officials need to raise obscene amounts of money, they are compromised,” he told The News. “Let’s shine a light on it, let’s call it what it is and let’s fix it.”
In his response to Cuomo’s address, Giambra characterized it as “more of the same” and criticized Cuomo for his failure to come up with a plan to cut spending.
“I think the governor offered little information on how New York will close a $4 billion-plus state budget hole and instead focused on continued high spending to fix everything that’s wrong in the state,” he said.
Giambra contended that Cuomo said nothing about reducing the cost of government.
“We didn’t hear that from the governor today,” he said, “and it is a question that all taxpayers in this state need to be asking from this administration. At some point, the high spending has to stop, and I believe the best way to do that is by consolidating services.”