Donald Trump is the clear front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, but some members of the GOP are hesitant to support him.
Tom Dadey isn't one of those Republicans. The Onondaga County GOP chairman endorsed Trump in January. He was one of the first New York party leaders to throw their support behind the real estate mogul.
With three candidates remaining in the race, Trump has the advantage. He's won 678 delegates — more than half of the 1,237 needed to secure the nomination. U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, Trump's top rival, has 423 delegates.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich, the only other candidate in the race, has 143 delegates.
Even with a sizable lead in the polls, some Republicans in New York have been reluctant to back Trump. U.S. Rep. John Katko, for example, recently said he would support the party's nominee, but fell short of endorsing Trump.
Does Dadey think it's time for New York Republicans to get behind the front-runner? The short answer is yes.
"I'm having those conversations with our elected officials all the time and it's my hope that prior to (the New York presidential primary on April 19) there will be an announcement," he said. "We'll continue to build momentum. We'll continue to build support."
Dadey has been tasked by the Trump campaign to build support among New York's GOP county chairs. He said there's "a lot of support" from the party leadership throughout the state.
A list of the supporters may be released prior to the state's presidential primary, he said.
"I'm encouraging folks, both county chairs and elected officials, to coalesce around our front-runner Donald Trump," he said. "He's from New York. To me, we should be supporting our favorite son who's left in this race.
"You got somebody from Texas. You got somebody from Ohio. You've heard Trump speak. He's clearly focused on New York. He's focused on upstate. He's mentioned upstate a couple of times in his remarks. He says, 'I'm going to do well in upstate New York. I've got a lot of friends in upstate.'"
For Dadey, it's not just about Trump being the front-runner. While there are two other candidates in the race, it doesn't appear they have a path to the nomination.
In New York, Cruz and Kasich don't stand a chance. A Siena Research Institute poll released in early March found Trump leading the state's GOP presidential primary by 27 points. He's on track to win a vast majority of the state's 95 delegates.
"It's down to three people," Dadey said. "I don't see Ted Cruz doing anything in New York. I don't know if it's on his radar. I don't see him getting organized. Kasich's got some support here and there. But I think folks realize that Donald Trump is clearly the front-runner. He clearly has the most delegates. Mathematically, even if Kasich won every delegate from here on out, he'd still come up short."
This week on Eye on NY
New interviews with Democratic congressional candidates Colleen Deacon, Eric Kingson and Steve Williams will be posted this week. The topics covered include paid leave, poverty and how they would promote transparency as a member of Congress.
To read the Q&As, visit auburnpub.com/eyeonny.
Be the first to know
Get local news delivered to your inbox!