The state Republican Committee plans to form an “issue-themed” ballot line for GOP gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino and its slate of statewide candidates, the party’s executive director Jason Weingartner wrote in a letter to county chairs.

The letter was first reported by The New York Post this morning and obtained by Capital Tonight.

In the letter, Weingartner writes to county chairs around the state that creating a separate line will be a heavy lift, given the amount of leg work required.

“As you know, since our statewide candidates were designated at our convention we do not need to circulate Republican designating petitions for them,” Weingartner wrote. “We are however, planning on circulating independent nominating petitions for our statewide candidates in order to create an issue-themed additional voting line. This independent petition will require 15,000 valid signatures with 100 signatures from at least 1/2 of the state’s 27 congressional districts. It is a big project but we are up to it.”

The letter comes after the Independence Party granted its line to Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and the Working Families Party openly mulls giving its line to another, more liberal candidate than the incumbent.

Astorino is expected to be formally nominated by the state Conservative Party on Saturday.

Carl Paladino, the party’s 2010 nominee, successfully created the Taxpayers ballot line, receiving 25,825 votes.

County Chairs Memo by Nick Reisman