ALBANY, N.Y. – Could Donald Trump's next big project be political?
The New York Daily News, citing unnamed Republicans, reported Friday that Trump, the billionaire real estate developer and TV personality, is considering a run for governor as a Republican.
The report came after Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno on Thursday suggested a big-name candidate could be waiting in the wings to enter the 2006 governor's race on the GOP side.
"When it gets public, you are all going to become excited, interested, and will want to write about it," Bruno said.
Bruno, however, wouldn't name the mystery office seeker and Trump's office in New York had no immediate comment. State GOP Executive Director Ryan Moses said neither he nor state party Chairman Stephen Minarik have had any discussions with Trump about running.
Trump flirted with a possible run for president on the Reform Party ticket in 2000. He has also given money to Republicans and Democrats alike in state races.
Republicans are looking for a candidate with name recognition and money to take on the only announced Democratic candidate, state Attorney General Eliot Spitzer. Spitzer is far ahead of all candidates for governor in the early polls.
Bruno earlier this year successfully urged billionaire B. Thomas Golisano to become a Republican. The owner of the Buffalo Sabres hasn't announced whether he'll mount a gubernatorial campaign for the GOP nod after failing to win election in three attempts as the Independence Party candidate.
Other Republicans running for governor or expected to run for governor include former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, former Assembly Minority Leader John Faso, Assemblyman Patrick Manning of Dutchess County, and former state Secretary of State Randy Daniels.