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Republicans temper expectations for a Trump gubernatorial campaign

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Buffalo: Republicans temper expectations for a Trump gubernatorial campaign
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Republicans continue to look for a candidate to run against Governor Cuomo in 2014. While some politicians hope it will be Donald Trump, they concede it's still not likely at this point. YNN's Ryan Whalen reports.

WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. -- Despite what Republicans are calling a successful meeting with Donald Trump, some of them are tempering expectations about whether the billionaire will run for Governor.

"It wouldn't be a surprise if he didn't," Conservative Strategist Michael Caputo said. "It would be a real surprise if he did."

Caputo arranged the sit down at Trump Tower at the request of two Western New York State legislators.

"I know some people over there," he said. "In fact, Roger Stone helped me make the meeting and it turned out to be a lot more than we expected."

Thursday, Stone, a well known national political operative, was in Williamsville signing his new bestseller.

"I have many, many friends in Buffalo, both Republicans and Democrats, and it's almost like a second hometown to me," he said.

Stone also counts Trump among his close friends.

"I think it's healthy that the Republican Party is looking for a strong candidate, although at the end of the day I think Trump is looking at something larger perhaps," he said.

"I just think his ego's too big to enter a race that he doesn't think he can win and right now Cuomo's looking pretty solid in all the polls," former Erie County Democratic Committee Chairman Len Lenihan said.

Local Democrats agree Trump doesn't pose much of a challenge to Cuomo right now.

"I think it makes for kind of a little fun holiday distraction, but I don't think it's going to amount to anything," Lenihan said.

But Assemblyman David DiPietro said that's not necessarily the case.

"He thought that we gave a very good plan and he would consider it," DiPietro said. "So going from no to maybe, I think, is moving the needle in a good direction."

Caputo said, regardless, his party needs to cast a wide net.

"The Republicans need to look at all candidates," he said. "Everyone who is being considered right now is qualified for the office and is somebody that I would work for."

He said the question is not who will run. It's who can win.

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