CoxFrom the Morning Memo:

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara is “right on target” even as he’s sought to try some of his high-profile corruption cases in the press and public, New York Republican Chairman Ed Cox said in a radio interview.

“I think that while he has tried some of his cases in public in advance,” Cox said on Bill Samuels’s AM970 radio show while adding, “I think he’s right on target with the things that he is doing.”

Bharara’s office this week is trying the case of former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, a Manhattan Democrat who is accused of masking legal referrals for his law firm as bribes.

But Bharara has shown to be bipartisan in his approach to making high-profile corruption arrests: A jury in July convicted Republican Sen. Tom Libous of Binghamton. Later this month, Republican former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos goes on trial for his own corruption case in which he and his son are accused of using the lawmaker’s official influence to benefit the son’s business interests.

Cox, meanwhile, called the 2018 nominating contest for governor in his party “wide open.”

Two potential candidates — Rep. Chris Gibson and the party’s 2014 nominee Rob Astorino — are believed to be interested in running.

“Oh, it’s a wide-open contest. I mean, at this point it’s good to see them all out there crisscrossing the state, talking to and getting our base enthusiastic about the 2018 election,” Cox said. “But we’ve got a long way to go from here to there. And in that process I think it will sort out and we’re going to end up with a very good gubernatorial candidate for 2018.”