GOP Leaders Withdraw Paladino Invitation

September 27, 2013 Updated Apr 13, 2010 at 11:38 PM EDT

By John Borsa

...
September 27, 2013 Updated Apr 13, 2010 at 11:38 PM EDT

As Carl Paladino pledged to continue to seek the Republican Party's nomination for New York Governor, GOP leaders in the Capital Region withdrew the Buffalo developer's invitation to appear at a candidate forum later this week.

Albany County Republican Chairman John Graziano said the invitation was rescinded after media reports surfaced that Paladino forwarded racially insensitive and pornographic e-mails.

"Allowing Mr. Paladino to participate in the candidate screening would not be a beneficial use of time," Graziano said in a statement.

The candidate forum is scheduled to take place on Friday.

Paladino said he will continue his campaign and told The Shredd and Ragan Show on WEDG FM-103.3 that nothing will stop him from pursuing public office.

"I just wanted to reaffirm that the feeding frenzy is over and I am running for governor," Paladino told afternoon radio hosts Ted Shredd and Tom Ragan.

"I'm a very resilient person. This stuff.. this e-mail stuff, okay, comes nowhere near something that's going to ever dissuade me," he said.

But the calls continued on Tuesday for Paladino to step out of the race after a local Web site on Monday released e-mails containing nudity, pornography, bestiality and racially insensitive remarks that were forwarded by Paladino during the past year.

Paladino offered an apology on Monday.

By Tuesday, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann gave Paladino his Worst Person in America Award and the New York Post called him the "Bigot from Buffalo."

"Carl Paladino is not a racist," said campaign manager Michael Caputo. "And if people want to play the race card in this campaign as they do so often in Buffalo - bring it on."

The e-mail controversy is being blamed by the campaign for a bomb scare on Tuesday.

Buffalo police said a caller threatened the 63-year-old Paladino's life and said a bomb had been planted inside the Ellicott Square Building in downtown Buffalo.

The building houses Paladino's campaign headquarters and his Ellicott Development real estate company.

Hundreds of workers were evacuated from the landmark for about 40 minutes while a sweep of the building turned up nothing.