ALBANY, NY -- Chris Collins is a newly elected Congressman serving Western New York, but back in 2010, many GOP leaders considered him a promising candidate for New York governor.
At the Conservative Party’s annual convention near Albany Sunday, Collins was asked about a state run in 2014. His answer was clear.
Collins said, "You can take that right off the table. I have my new life in Washington. We’ve got plenty of problems in D.C.. My focus now is to getting America right and so I can assure you I have no intention or interest in running for governor in 2014."
Buffalo businessman Carl Paladino knows what it takes to run on a state level. He ended up running against Cuomo in 2010. Paladino says Collins' decision is a smart move.
He said, "It’s a very, very blue state, almost 2 thirds of the state is Democrat."
"Don’t do it because the Republican Party is a shambles right now. Statewide, the Republican Party doesn’t have an identity," added Paladino.
Paladino would not comment on running again for governor, but said Collins is smart to stay put.
"I think Chris is doing a great job so far in Congress. I think that's where he wanted to be and that's where he is and he's a happy guy," said Paladino.
Those on the other side of the aisle also weighed in.
Zellner said, "What Chris Collins is realizing is after losing the county executive seat and coming so close in a heavily republican district, that he ought to focus on his congressional seat."
Zellner says right now, the Erie County Democratic Party is focusing on 2013, but he already knows who his vote will go towards in 2014.
"It’s still two years away, the governor's race, but we are firmly behind our governor Cuomo who is doing an amazing job," said Zellner.
Meantime, Collins is already thinking of his vote for the next presidential election.
"In 2016, electing a republican who can lead this country into prosperity with job growth and common sense solutions", said Collins.
For now, Collins says he will concentrate on balancing the nation’s budget over the next 10 years.