From the Morning Memo:

From his very first press conference as incoming state Republican party chair, current Erie County GOP Chair Nick Langworthy was very clear about his lofty goal.

When the next gubernatorial election comes around, it will have been two decades since the GOP has elected its candidate to the executive’s office. Langworthy is determined to end that streak.

“This is obviously the goal,” Langworthy said. “There’s one office that can transform this state, that can help liberate taxpayers, help put the state back in working condition, and that’s the office of the governor. It has extraordinary powers.”

This week, Langworthy got a clearer picture of who the competition will be. Though it’s still more than three years out from the next gubernatorial election, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, fresh off his third term victory, has already indicated he plans to run again.

“I’m actually kind of excited about it because as I’m transitioning into this role as state chairman of the party,” Langworthy said. “we will work day and night to make sure the mission of our party is to defeat this governor in 2022.”

Cuomo hasn’t had much trouble with his Republican challengers in this increasingly Democrat-dominated state thus far. Langworthy conceded the power of incumbency is strong. However, he insisted there’s a historical path to victory for his party that he believes he can emulate.

Cuomo’s father, the late former Gov. Mario Cuomo, lost when he ran for governor for the fourth time – a national figure taken out by a little-known state senator who was elevated to power by a select group of GOP power brokers.

“There’s a lot of shelf life,” Langworthy said. “I mean George Pataki versus a fresh-faced Democrat, that might have been a different situation back in 1994. But a governor that was reaching for a fourth term…people do grow tired of an incumbent elected officials, especially an executive.”

The chairman couldn’t resist taking a dig at the current governor Cuomo, saying he doesn’t have the “courage” to run for president like dozens of his Democratic colleagues across the country are doing. (Mario Cuomo rather infamously didn’t run for president, either, though he thought about it – and thought about it).

Langworthy predicted the governor will struggle over the next few years with the Dem-controlled state Senate he helped seize from the GOP, which will set the stage for a sea change in 2022.