In his strongest comments against his Republican ticket mate yet, state comptroller hopeful Harry Wilson sought to put even more distance between himself and gubernatorial hopeful Carl Paladino following the Buffalo businessman’s anti-gay remarks in Williamsburg yesterday.

“I do not condone intolerance of any kind and categorically reject these hurtful statements,” Wilson said in a statement released by his campaign.

“Furthermore, I strongly urge every candidate for statewide office to focus solely, as I have, on the problems of our state, particularly our massive and growing fiscal crisis.”

Republcians have had mixed feelings on how they will be impacted by the so-called “Paladino factor.”

Some legislative challengers in Western NY, the base of Paladino’s support, are hoping his popularity will help propel them to victory. But his fellow statewide contenders, who must appeal to a far broader base of voters – especially independents and disaffected Democrats – to have any hope at victory in this Democrat-dominated state, worry Paladino will pull them down.

Wilson and Staten Island DA Dan Donovan have refused to endorse Paladino and have taken heat from their Democratic opponents for failing to strongly denounce him for his controversial statements and positions.

Wilson has argued he wants to maintain independence from anyone he might have to audit as comptroller – including the governor – while Donovan has fallen back on the state DAs Association policy barring him from making endorsesments as a sitting DA.