WEST SENECA, NY (WKBW) - It is the latest twist in a governor's race that hasn't seen a dull moment yet, dozens of democrats now backing the republican candidate for governor, Carl Paladino and they are led by Paladino's wife, herself a registered democrat.
"This is not a party thing, this is a people thing and it's about people all across the state that are frustrated, feel disenfranchised, and are looking for a voice. That's what his campaign has been all about," said Mary Catherine Paladino.
Paladino promises to reduce the state's huge budget deficit by cutting taxes, creating jobs and streamlining government. If elected, he is even promising to give his governor's salary back to the state or donate it to charity.
"I think it's a great thing that he's doing, Carl's not in this for the money, Carl's in this for the people of the State of New York," said Martin Forel, a former democrat turned.
But Paladino admits his cuts will be painful and says some state workers may lose their jobs on the road to cleaning up Albany.
"We just went through two years of 15 billion dollars of new taxes and they couldn't find one of 298,341 employees to lay off there's something wrong there," said Carl Paladino, the republican.
Paladino even picking up democratic support from South Buffalo Councilmember Mickey Kearns who received contributions from Paladino during his run for mayor last year.
"We should vote for someone locally who can help our local economy he's someone who has created jobs, time and time again he's been very successfully why wouldn't we want him to be our governor," said Mickey Kearns.
"I just don't understand a true democrat supporting Paladino," said Alison Maloney, a democrat supporting Andrew Cuomo.
Maloney, a self-professed "true democrat" says she'd never compromise her pro-choice stance or support of social programs. She hopes these democratic defectors don't hurt the party in the long run..
"You have to wonder what people are thinking! I understand people are mad, I understand that times are tough, but you've got to be rational there's a choice and you have to make the right choice," said Maloney.
Some other big named democrats at Paladino's rally today were Buffalo school board member Ralph Hernandez, former New York State Supreme court justice Bob Whalen, and NFL Hall of Famer Thurman Thomas of the Buffalo Bills. But, despite all the support, the latest Sienna poll puts democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Cuomo 24 points ahead of Paladino among likely voters polled.