From the Morning Memo:

The departure of self-funding Westchester County businessman Harry Wilson from the field of potential GOP gubernatorial candidates will have a major impact on the party’s nomination process for governor moving forward. 

Erie County Republican Committee Chairman Nick Langworthy said he expects things to open up for candidates who may have otherwise been long shots or perhaps have not yet even entered the fray.

“I think had Harry declared, things would’ve come together very quickly for his candidacy,” the chairman said. “He would’ve built a great deal of momentum. He had laid very nice groundwork across the state. At this point, I think we have a very wide open process.”

Langworthy had not yet gone as far as to endorse a favorite, but also made clear he was strongly in support of Wilson joining the race. He said he considers Wilson a friend who would’ve given the party an “incredible shot” to defeat Democratic incumbent Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

At the same time, the county chair said he respected Wilson’s reasoning that a campaign and a potential statewide campaign – his second since losing a comptroller bid to Democrat Tom DiNapoli in 2010 – would be taxing on his family.

“Now our party has to move forward,” Langworthy said. “We have to put together a comprehensive process and I’m looking forward to meeting with a lot of my colleagues in Albany early next week to discuss that and the rest of this ticket.”

Of the handful of candidates currently in the mix, it will be interesting to see how much support former Erie County Executive Joel Giambra, a Democrat-turned-Republican who has been out of the public eye for years now, can get in Western New York. Langworthy, for one, said he’s not sure.

Giambra, of course, still has many local ties, but he has a tenuous relationship with the party. Giambra was among a group of New York Republicans that supported Hillary Clinton against Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential race, while Langworthy and the ECRC were early and strong Trump supporters.

“He has not necessarily been a supporter of the party here locally in quite some time,” Langworthy said of Giambara. “I know he’s talking to people around New York and trying to develop his own message, which is very much against the grain for traditional Republican orthodoxy.”

The chairman said he does expect to meet with Giambra next week about his potential candidacy.