The Republican search for an Astorino running mate

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Rob Astorino. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
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ALBANY—Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino said he would make a decision about a running mate within a week, even as several potential lieutenants have said they would not join the ticket and G.O.P. operatives and leaders scrape for good options.

The ideal candidate would have to be politically ambitious, not raise any questions of competence and provide geographic, ethnic and gender diversity. (The rest of the Republican ticket is white and male.) Astorino and his advisers are cognizant of this, and also mindful that Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo will be able to react to the Republican pick when he announces an expected replacement for Bob Duffy in the days before the Democratic convention on May 21-22.

Republicans will convene in Westchester County, where Astorino is executive, next week.

Astorino's camp had been searching for someone who was independently wealthy, people briefed on his search efforts said. He repeatedly approached Assemblywoman Jane Corwin, a resident of suburban Buffalo who is the chamber's wealthiest member, but she demurred, the Buffalo News reported.

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Mike Battle, a former U.S. attorney from Buffalo—who is African-American—was considered but rejected because he did not fulfill residency requirements, Astorino told Fred Dicker on a radio interview. Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, a Staten Islander who is half Cuban, stated publicly that she was not interested, preferring to focus on continuing recovery efforts related to Superstorm Sandy. She, and any other state lawmaker, would be required to give up her seat for an L.G. run. (You can't be on the ballot in two places.)

“We have some good, qualified candidates. I have to make a decision by the end of this week,” Astorino said in a radio interview. “We have some really good candidates. It's a really interesting process, because as you narrow this list down, then you start talking about whether they would be interested, then you start vetting people, but in all honesty you're giving somebody a week or two to turn their life upside down because they didn't have an intention to run a statewide race. There's a lot to be considered for anyone who would do this. You're talking about a major career change, family issues, travel … all the things that go into a statewide campaign.”

He and his aides declined to be more specific.