Andrew Giuliani, a 35-year-old former Trump aide and golf buddy, seeks to unseat one New York political dynasty for another in the 2022 gubernatorial race.
MANHATTAN (CN) — The son of former Trump attorney and New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani officially announced his 2022 run for New York state governor on Tuesday morning.
“Together WE WILL bring New York back!” tweeted Andrew Giuliani, who served for four years as a White House aide to President Donald Trump.
Making the rounds on conservative media outlets throughout the day, the 35-year-old Republican embraced the recognition his father’s long career in the public eye.
“I’m a politician out of the womb. It’s in my DNA,” the son of New York City’s mayor from 1994 to 2001 said.
If he secures the Republican candidacy, Giuliani could face incumbent Democrat Andrew Cuomo, who has held the Albany office since 2011.
“Giuliani vs. Cuomo. Holy smokes. It’s Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier,” he pitched with the zeal of his father’s prominent ex-client, former President Donald Trump. “We can sell tickets at Madison Square Garden,” he went on, citing the historic 1971 heavyweight title bout at the famed Manhattan arena, dubbed the “Fight of the Century.”
A onetime aspiring golf pro, Giuliani brought an unsuccessful due-process suit against Duke University’s head golf coach, Orrin Vincent III, in 2008 after he was kicked him off the school’s team.
Giuliani’s familiarity with the sport aided him in his position as a sports liaison at the Trump White House, where he reportedly earned $95,000 per year under the official title “Special Assistant to the President and Associate Director of the Office of Public Liaison.”
Giuliani teased his gubernatorial bid to the Washington Examiner last month. “Outside of anybody named Trump,” he said, “I think I have the best chance to win and take the state back. And I think there’s an opportunity in 2022 with a wounded Democratic candidate — whether it’s going to be Gov. Cuomo, whether it’s going to be a radical Letitia James, whether it’s going to be a no-name lieutenant governor — I think there’s a very, very real chance to win.”
The same week that Andrew Giuliani hinted at the possible run, another Trump ally, Long Island Republican Congressman Lee Zeldin, announced that he could be running for governor of New York in 2022.
As of last week, Zeldin’s campaign said he had secured 66% of the New York State Conservative Party’s weighted gubernatorial vote. The official designee of the Conservative Party for Governor needs 50%.
During the elder Giuliani’s 1995 inauguration, a then-7-year old Andrew stood next took to his father at the podium, famously mugging alongside the mayor-elect during the swearing-in.
The live address was parodied by “Saturday Night Live,” with the young Andrew played by Chris Farley, three years before the actor’s death.
New York state, regarded as a Democratic stronghold, has not elected a Republican to statewide office since George Pataki won a third term as governor in 2002.
Pataki won his first term in 1994, defeating Andrew Cuomo’s father, three-term incumbent Governor Mario Cuomo, by winning handily in the suburbs.
The younger Cuomo, 63, saw sky-high polling numbers early in the pandemic last year, but his favorability has waned in recent months amid a nursing home scandal and reports of sexual harassment.
Though a growing number of state and federal lawmakers have cited lost confidence in his leadership, Cuomo has said it would be undemocratic to bow down to resignation pressure.
Against those increasing calls for the Cuomo’s resignation, a Siena College Research Institute poll in March found that half of New York voters believed he should wait out a harassment probe in office, while just 35% called for him to step down.
Responding to those statistics, Cuomo appeared unfazed and chuckled on a conference call that he always faces 35% calling for his resignation even during the “normal political spectrum.”
According to tax disclosures released by his office on Monday, Cuomo’s contract with publishers for his book about handling the Covid-19 pandemic was comprised of an advance of $3.1 million for the book in 2020, with another $2 million payment by 2022.
Giuliani’s campaign announcement comes as his father’s business dealings in Ukraine, when he was serving as then-President Trump’s lawyer, are under investigation by federal investigators at the Southern District of New York.
Federal prosecutors raided his New York home and offices in late April and seized electronic devices. He and his son have denounced the probe as politically motivated.
The elder Giuliani served as that office’s top prosecutor, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, from June 3, 1983, until January 1, 1989.
In a letter unsealed this week, Giuliani’s defense team castigated the Southern District of New York for treating Trump’s former personal attorney like a terrorist or drug cartel kingpin “in order to create maximum prejudicial coverage of both Giuliani, and his most well-known client — the former President of the United States.”