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GOP Rep. Tom Reed ‘definitely looking’ at challenging NY Gov. Cuomo amid nursing home controversy

Republican Rep. Tom Reed of New York says that he’s “definitely looking” at running next year against Gov. Andrew Cuomo when the embattled three-term Democratic governor bids for re-election.

“People across the district, across the state, are saying ‘you need to take a look at this.’ I’m humbled by that, but I’m also energized by it,” the six-term congressman, who represents the southwestern corner of New York State, said in an interview with Fox News.

REED SAYS CUOMO ‘NEEDS TO BE TAKEN DOWN’

“Given an opportunity to do my part to serve and try to change the direction of the state, we are definitely looking at it,” Reed said.

UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 15: Rep. Tom Reed, R-N.Y., co-chair of the Problem Solvers Caucus, arrives at the House Triangle outisde the Capitol for a press conference on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

UNITED STATES – SEPTEMBER 15: Rep. Tom Reed, R-N.Y., co-chair of the Problem Solvers Caucus, arrives at the House Triangle outisde the Capitol for a press conference on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

While still holding strong poll numbers, Cuomo has been politically wounded by the state’s current nursing home COVID crisis. The governor — who last year initially won national praise from Democrats and the media for his efforts battling the coronavirus pandemic — suffered political fallout in recent weeks from revelations that his administration concealed the full extent of nursing home-related deaths during the COVID crisis.

“Governor Cuomo needs to be taken down,” Reed said in a radio interview Friday with “On Fox Across America with Jimmy Failla.”

He predicted that “the days of Governor Cuomo are numbered and they need to be because New York State, not only on the nursing home deaths, but the future of New York, it doesn’t have much more window to get its fiscal house in order.”

WATCHDOG REPORT SAYS POLICY MAY HAVE LED TO OVER 1,000 NURSING HOME DEATHS IN NY

In his interview with Fox News hours later, Reed mentioned a death threat against his family during last year’s election. The congressman said that when it comes to a potential gubernatorial run, “the most critical deciding factor is my family.”

Pointing to Cuomo’s re-election to a third term in 2018 by a massive 23-point margin in the reliably blue state, Reed acknowledged that challenging the governor is “going to be a herculean task. Gov. Cuomo’s going to have tens of millions of dollars. He’s already got $17 million in the bank.”

And he noted that “this is going to be a long-term commitment, so the sooner the better if we make the decision. We’ve got a little bit of time here, but we have to get our house in order, the Republican side of the equation.”

ZELDIN URGED TO CHALLENGE CUOMO NEXT YEAR

Reed isn’t the only Republican member of New York’s congressional delegation who’s being urged to challenge Cuomo.

Fox News was first to report on Friday that Rep. Lee Zeldin is being encouraged by influential Republicans to run.

“In the last 48 hours a significant number of large donors and influential Republicans have reached out to Lee Zeldin to ask him to take on Cuomo,” a Republican consultant with ties to the congressman told Fox News.

Zeldin — a four-term congressman who represents the eastern half of New York’s Long Island — is a strong ally and supporter of former President Donald Trump.

Reps. Elise Stefanik, a rising star in the party and another major Trump supporter who represents a district in the northern part of the state, is also seen as a potential gubernatorial candidate.

Reed — a native New Yorker who lives in the home built by his grandfather — is known for his ability to cross the aisle and work with Democrats. He’s a co-chair of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus in the House.

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But Reed touted that he “was one of the first to endorse President Trump.” And he highlighted that he co-chaired Trump’s 2020 re-election effort in New York State. He added that he’s a “proud Republican” who still has “Tea Party support.”

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