New York Republican Committee Chairman Ed Cox believes former Gov. George Pataki is serious when he says he’s considering a White House run, though stopped short of saying whether the state party would back his candidacy as a “favorite son.”

“He’s very serious about exploring,” Cox said Tuesday evening following a day-long meeting of county chairs. “He’s been out there to New Hampshire several times, down to South Carolina. He’s seriously exploring. In all these areas I worked with him he had an extraordinary, extraordinary record. He was a very good governor of New York and he will be a very good candidate for president.”

Pataki addressed the county chairmen for the first time since he was a sitting governor on Tuesday, a move that comes as chatter grows he’s considering launching a bid for the presidency.

Nevertheless, Cox wouldn’t say if the state party would back Pataki’s bid, which would likely be a steep climb for a candidate who hasn’t run for office since 2002 and left the governor’s office in 2006.

“That’s going to be up to a lot of people in the room there,” Cox said. “That’s not mine to say. They’re going to be taking a look at that great record.”

Pataki would almost certainly face skepticism from a conservative Republican base over his credentials as a moderate former governor of a Democratic northeast state (then again, so did 2012 nominee Mitt Romney).

Still, Cox said Pataki’s speech to Republican committee members was well received.

“He gave a great speech to them and there was a lot of enthusiasm for him in that room,” Cox said.

Pataki was criticized when he left office for not building a party structure, essentially leaving a power vacuum that some in the party say adversely impact its ability to win subsequent statewide races.

Meanwhile on Wednesday, a another Republican former governor signaled his plans to join the 2016 fray: former Florida