NEW YORK – Greek-American businessman Harry Wilson announced on Twitter on February 22 that he is running for governor of New York, “vowing to fix a pandemic-ravaged New York with the same skills he’s used to save reeling corporations,” the New York Post reported.
“I’m running for governor to turn around New York,” Wilson, a Republican, said in the tweet. “Our state is totally broken. Rising crime, sky-high taxes, closed schools, corrupt politicians. I’ve spent my career turning around failing organizations. Let’s get this done.”
Wilson, 50, whose Greek immigrant mother, Nikki, settled in Johnstown, NY, and married his father, Jim, “narrowly lost the 2010 race for state comptroller to Tom DiNapoli and was seriously weighing a run for governor,” the Post reported.
“I’m running for governor because I cannot sit by while New York is devastated by career politicians,” Wilson said in a campaign video, the Post reported.
He “vowed to undo the hikes in corporate taxes and income taxes on wealthy residents approved by former Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Democrat-controlled state Legislature last year,” the Post reported, adding that “Democrat Kathy Hochul, the former lieutenant governor who became governor last August after Cuomo resigned in a sexual harassment scandal, maintained the $4 billion in tax increases in her $216 billion executive budget plan.”
“It won’t be easy. The politicians will fight me. They want businesses as usual,” Wilson said, the Post reported.
Wilson, even before he announced his run, drew fire from republicans for donating to Democrat Alvin Bragg’s successful campaign for Manhattan district attorney, the Post reported, noting that “Bragg has been roundly criticized for telling assistant DAs to downgrade or not prosecute certain criminal offenses during a crime wave.”
“Wilson has since disavowed his support for Bragg and backs firing elected prosecutors who don’t enforce the law,” the Post reported, adding that “he appears to be running as this generation’s Mike Bloomberg, the billionaire businessman who served three terms as New York City mayor following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.”
“Wilson’s skill set could meet the moment, as New York is still recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic,” the Post reported, noting that “New York City in particular has yet to recover the loss of tens of thousands of jobs that vanished during the two-year pandemic, backers note.”
Wilson “is chairman and CEO of the MAEVA Group and is known as an expert in corporate restructurings and turnarounds,” the Post reported, adding that “Wilson personally knows the impact of COVID-19 on the economy, including the battered health care sector” as “last year, he stepped in to serve as temporary CEO of Genesis Health Care, the nation’s largest skilled nursing provider, to help save the company.”
“But his moderate brand of politics will be tested in a polarizing and partisan age,” the Post reported, noting that “he served on Democratic President Barack Obama’s Auto Restructuring Task Force after the recession of 2008” and “that could turn off Republican backers of former President Donald Trump in a GOP primary.”
“The state Republican Party will hold its nominating convention next Monday and Tuesday,” the Post reported, adding that “three other candidates have been running for some time.”
“Long Island Congressman Lee Zeldin has the backing of nearly the entire Republican and Conservative Party leadership and will almost certainly be voted the GOP’s choice at next week’s convention,” the Post reported, noting that “former Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino and Andrew Giuliani, the son of former Mayor Rudy Giuliani who served as a Trump White House aide, are also seeking the GOP nomination.”
Wilson “will likely need to collect signatures of Republican voters to petition to get on the primary ballot,” the Post reported.
Wilson, born and raised in upstate Johnstown, earned degrees from Harvard University and Harvard Business School, the Post reported, adding that “early in his career, he worked for Wall Street giants including Goldman Sachs and the Blackstone Group.”
Wilson,” a Scarsdale resident, considered running for governor against then-incumbent Andrew Cuomo in 2018 but ultimately declined, citing family obligations,” the Post reported, noting that “he has four daughters.”
In the Democratic race, “Hochul holds a commanding lead over city Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and Long Island Rep. Tom Suozzi to secure the nomination, recent polls show,” the Post reported.