New York State

Where the New York GOP stands on Donald Trump

Only a few top Republicans in the state haven’t embraced the president.

Donald Trump

Donald Trump Christopher Halloran/Shutterstock

President Donald Trump may have dismal favorability ratings in New York, but leading Republican elected officials across the state have mostly fallen in line behind the man who will be at the top of the party’s ticket in 2020 – with a few notable exceptions.

Rep. Chris Collins

“We need a chief executive, not a chief politician. Donald Trump is the individual as president that can lead this country and reclaim our great state and provide a bright future for our children.”

– via CNN, February 2016

Rep. Pete King

“He is not fit to be president – morally or intellectually. … America needs a president with the strength and quiet dignity of George W. Bush, not a feckless pretender like Donald Trump who has descended into a poor man’s imitation of Michael Moore.”

– via Newsday, February 2016

“I agree with 90% of what he’s doing. But then maybe slow down on some of the tweets and just focus on getting the job done. … The American people agree with what he wants to do. They want stronger anti-terrorism measures; they want to have more secure borders; they want lower taxes; they want to rebuild the infrastructure.”

– via The Hill, February 2017

Rep. Tom Reed

“As the people vote, it has become clear more Republicans favor Donald Trump than any other candidate. The United States simply cannot have someone in the White House that will continue the failed foreign policy and economic agenda of Barack Obama.”

– via The Cornell Daily Sun, March 2016

Outgoing New York Republican Party Chairman Ed Cox

“He has a record of cutting through bureaucratic dysfunction and his message to ‘Make America Great Again’ is exactly what we need after two failed terms of President Obama.”

– via the Auburn Citizen, April 2016

2010 Republican Party gubernatorial nominee Carl Paladino

“(Trump projects) credibility and integrity ... unlike the establishment. … That festering anger that we’ve been carrying inside – all of a sudden it burst, when this guy came along and started talking plain fact.”

– via Politico New York, June 2016

State Senate Minority Leader John Flanagan

“I’m going to make this unequivocally clear. I’m supporting Donald Trump for president. I’m going to do so with grace, with diplomacy, with passion and with fervor, and I’m going to do it with New York style.”

– via State of Politics, July 2016

Rep. Lee Zeldin

“You’re never going to find that absolute perfect candidate. This race is between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. For me, that is a no-brainer.”

– via USA Today, July 2016

Rep. Elise Stefanik

“I’m supporting my party’s nominee. But I’ll continue being an independent voice for the district.”

– via Roll Call, October 2016

Rep. John Katko

“Faced with two candidates with serious flaws, I have long declined to endorse or support Donald Trump in this race. Today, many others in my party are joining me. Neither candidate shares my values. I cannot support Hillary Clinton, but Donald Trump has not and will never earn my vote.”

– via the Auburn Citizen, October 2016

Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis

“In hindsight what I really wish is that Marco Rubio was the Republican nominee. He wasn’t. I voted for the person who I thought would shake things up.”

– via the Staten Island Advance, September 2017

Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb

“Trump is not a factor. My name is not Brian Trump, it’s Brian Kolb. If Donald Trump does good things for New York, I will support it. If he does bad things for New York, I will not support it. My priority is New York state.”

– via the Daily News, December 2017

2018 Republican Party gubernatorial nominee Marcus Molinaro

“I don’t know if the president meant it during the presidential campaign, I don’t know it, but when he acted out in a way that discredited a reporter who lived with a disability, I don’t think it was his intention, but I’ve seen it before – in fact as a kid I probably did it myself – and as the father of a child with a disability I wasn’t willing to put myself in the position of demeaning what my daughter goes through every day of her life.”

– via Gotham Gazette, October 2018

Current congressional candidate and former U.S. Senate candidate Chele Chiavacci Farley

“I’m very upfront about the fact that I voted for the president and I support the president when his policies are good for New York, and gosh, so many of them have been great for the Hudson Valley. We’ve got unemployment at all-time lows, the stock market at all-time highs. But when they’re not good for New York, like this tax bill, I will negotiate it and make it better. He came out for me. He supported me strongly in 2018. I was very happy with that. He will be on the ballot in 2020. Yes, I will vote for him, and I expect him to win.”

– via City & State, May 2019