BUFFALO, NY - You've probably seen him on the news or heard his political ads on the radio and now real estate developer Carl Paladino is being drafted to run for governor.
Paladino told 2 On Your Side that members of the tea party movement have been pressing him to run for the past two weeks and now he has allowed them to publicize his potential candidacy.
Asked if he is running, Paladino says he is "seriously considering" entering the race but must first see how it would play elsewhere, especially in New York City where he would not be well known. Paladino says if he gets favorable reviews elsewhere in the state he will "go with a vengeance."
When asked when he will decide if he is running, Paladino says he has plenty of time for an announcement. He says others in the Tea Party movement have set an end of month deadline but that is not his schedule. He also says he is not worried about collecting campaign funding because he would not run a race which depends on traditional expensive broadcast advertising.
Paladino says he would speak with reporters around the state to expose the problems and real mess in Albany. He would also appeal to real working people to present his issues of "cleaning up state government. "
"What party line would he run on, republican, democrat, independent?" 2 On Your Side's Josh Boose asked Rus Thompson.
"We'll put him right in the middle, the tea party line," Thompson replied.
Thompson heads up the group Tea New York. It's responsible for many of the tea parties across Western New York that demanded government change and reform.
"There's nobody out there that's stepping up to the plate that the people can get energized behind," said Thompson.
But Thompson believes Paladino will energize people like he did when he helped get the tolls along the 190 in Buffalo taken down.
"Is it even realistic that he can win?" Boose asked. "A) because he's from upstate and B) does he have the money? Can this really happen?"
"I think it can happen," said Thompson. "When you look at what happened in Virginia, look at New Jersey, Tea Party candidates won - Scott Brown in Massachusetts. We got a fierce battle going on right now in Chicago. There are a lot of angry people out there."
"Chris Collins just got out of the race, he never got in the race because he said he couldn't afford it. Where is this money going to come from to support Carl Paladino?" Boose asked.
"Look what happened, once again I'll look at a couple of these races, the fresh one; Scott Brown, that guy collected a million dollars in a day," said Thompson. "They're called money bombs. When someone like this, a reform candidate, you're going to get grassroots people that are going to be throwing 20, 25 bucks, you're going to get business people that see the proof of what Carl Paladino has done."