- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 19, 2014

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Donald Trump’s public flirtation with running for governor was criticized Wednesday by a potential Republican rival, prompting a sharp response from the celebrity businessman’s camp.

“This circus stuff has got to come to an end and he’s got to just say if he’s running or not,” Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino told reporters at the state Capitol.

Trump has repeatedly said he will run for governor if the state party unites behind him. Trump also says he has majority support among New York Republicans, a claim that drew an eye-roll from Astorino.

Astorino, who has yet to declare his own candidacy, said Trump should start going around the state if he want to run, adding: “It’s a big state, it’s not just 5th Avenue.” Astorino has been meeting potential supporters around the state and has created a campaign committee.

Astorino, who is expected to announce his decision by the end of the month, said a primary would not deter him.

Michael Cohen, special counsel to Trump, responded that Trump would announce tomorrow, if the party united behind him.

“As to the circus, I suspect it is Rob Astorino who is perpetuating … the media hype as it is the only way for him to create name recognition with the media,” Cohen said.

Polls have shown either man would face an uphill race challenging Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

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