From the Morning Memo:

Republican Brian Kolb in an interview Tuesday said he is confident Republicans can field a strong challenge to Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2018, saying a range of issues will wear him down this year.

“I absolutely believe so because we’re running against Andrew Cuomo and his record,” he said.

Kolb, the Assembly minority leader, last month became the first Republican candidate to declare in the race for governor. He could be joined by former Erie County Executive Joel Giambra, Sen. John DeFrancisco and Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, who are also considering bids.

Republicans had hoped Harry Wilson, a businessman from Westchester County and the party’s 2010 nominee for comptroller, would run, but he decline to do so.

Kolb believes Cuomo will face questions surrounding his economic development spending and the corruption trial of his former close aide, set to begin this month.

“What’s happened is the governor is traveling around spending taxpayer dollars, putting all these videos together to say how great I am. This is our money he’s handing out. It’s not his money,” he said. “The pay to play scandals will come full circle. There is a lot of material to have a conversation with the taxpayers and the voters of this state.”