ALBANY—Senate Minority Leader Dean Skelos said it's "wrong" that Mayor Rudy Giuliani isn't returning Ed Cox's phone calls.
"I think that's wrong," Skelos, a strong backer of Cox for the Republican state chairman (which he should assume today) told Fred Dicker on WGDJ. "The decision has been made by the county chairs that Ed Cox would be the next state chairman. He traveled the state; he earned it, quite frankly. He went to all corners of the state."
Giuliani backed Henry Wojtaszek, Cox's rival, to become state chairman. An "unholy alliance" of other former Republican officials joined Giuliani, but Cox eventually secured the support of enough county chairs that Wojtaszek bowed out.
"On every occasion that I've been with him [Cox], in terms of Mayor Giuliani, he has indicated that he would be our first choice to run for governor or anything else he wanted to run for," Skelos said. "Firstly, I think that the state needs new direction, and that Rudy Giuliani would be a great candidate for governor. I believe he could win it, and that's certainly where I would like to see him run, is for governor of the state of New York."
Bartle Bull, a Democrat who has taken it upon himself to coordinate the "Draft Rudy" movement, said he was unconcerned by the apparent frost in the Cox-Giuliani relationship, and Cox's preference that Giuliani run for U.S. Senate.
"I don't agree with Ed; I'd like to see him run for the governor, because I think New York state needs Mayor Giuliani to run for governor," Bull told me by phone. "I think he'll support whichever of the two things Rudy does, either governor or the Senate. He may prefer one course to the other, but I think he'll support either."