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EXCLUSIVE: Businessman, investor and restructuring expert Harry Wilson is jumping into this year’s race for New York governor and is immediately putting $12 million of his own money behind his bid for the GOP gubernatorial nomination.
“Rising crime, out of control taxes, skyrocketing cost of living, closed schools, corrupt politicians – New York needs a turnaround,” Wilson said Tuesday as he announced his candidacy, in a statement shared first nationally with Fox News.
And Wilson took aim at Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul, the clear front-runner for this year’s Democratic nomination, who was sworn in last August as New York’s first female governor, and her predecessor, former Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who resigned in disgrace amide multiple scandals.
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“I’ll repeal the Cuomo/Hochul tax increases, tackle the high cost of living, end cashless bail, fire rogue district attorneys who don’t enforce the law, and clean up the corruption in Albany,” Wilson pledged. “And if the politicians don’t like it, they won’t get paid.”
Hochul, who entered the new year with an enormous $21 million campaign war chest, officially received the Democratic Party of New York’s nomination last weekend. But the governor may still face competition from Rep. Tom Suozzi and New York City public advocate Jumaane Williams, who are working to get their names on the June primary ballot.
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Wilson’s jumping into a GOP nomination race that’s being dominated by Rep. Lee Zeldin, an attorney and officer in the U.S. Army Reserve and a four-term lawmaker who represents the state’s 1st Congressional District in the eastern half of Long Island.
Zeldin, a staunch ally of former President Trump, ended 2021 with $5.6 million in his campaign coffers. Also running for their party’s nomination are Rob Astorino, the former Westchester County executive and 2014 GOP gubernatorial nominee, and Andrew Giuliani, who served in Trump’s administration and is the son of former New York City mayor and former Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani.
As he enters the gubernatorial race, Wilson said he’s launching a massive $12 million ad blitz starting statewide on Wednesday, and he’s immediately hitting the campaign trail, with stops in 10 cities across New York over the next three days.
CLICK HERE FOR THE LATEST FOX NEWS REPORTING FROM THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL
And he plans to attend the New York State Republican Party convention, which kicks off at the beginning of next week in Nassau County. Thanks to the slew of county and local party endorsements Zeldin’s landed since launching his campaign 10 months ago, the congressman is poised to be the GOP’s official pick for governor. That means Wilson will need to get his name on the primary ballot through the petition process.
“This is our last, best chance to turn around New York,” Wilson stressed.
And Wilson, who spent years turning around failing organizations and businesses, said “we will do whatever it takes to save this state. The career politicians and insiders have run the state into the ground, but it’s not too late to turn it around. That’s what I’ve spent my life doing, and, for the sake of 20 million New Yorkers, this is the most important turnaround yet.”
This is Wilson’s second Republican statewide run in New York. In 2010, he came close to defeating Democratic incumbent comptroller Tom DiNapoli, losing by less than three points in the heavily blue state. He also mulled but decided against running for governor in 2018, when Cuomo was re-elected to a third term.
Wilson was raised in a working-class family in Johnstown, New York. His father, a son of Greek immigrants, was a bartender. His mother, who immigrated from Greece, worked in a sewing factory.
“To pay for college, cleaned toilets in the dorms, bartender, whatever it took to get the job done,” Wilson says in a video launching his campaign.
He eventually earned an MBA from Harvard University.
Wilson worked for Blackstone Group and Goldman Sachs before becoming a partner at Silver Point Capital. He later founded his own advisory firm and last year was named CEO of Genesis HealthCare.
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He also served as a senior Treasury Department adviser during former President Obama’s administration. In 2009, he was a key member of the team that oversaw the restructuring of General Motors and Chrysler after they were bailed out by the government.
He was later appointed by Obama as a member of the Advisory Committee of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, an independent federal agency that oversees insuring benefits under private defined benefit pension plans and for allowing individuals to search for lost pensions.
Source URL: https://www.foxnews.com/politics/ny-governor-race-republican-harry-wilson-campaign