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Car dealer surprised by Andrew Cuomo call

Jan. 8, 2013 at 3:29 PM

SAUGERTIES, N.Y., Jan. 8 (UPI) -- A New York state car dealer says he was surprised to get a phone call from Gov. Andrew Cuomo saying he was interested in buying a Ford Bronco for his daughter.

Cuomo, 55, didn't, at first, identify himself when he said wanted a big, safe, reliable used vehicle for his 16-year-old daughter, who recently got her driver's license, said Bob Siracusano, owner of Sawyer Motors in Saugerties.

Sawyer had advertised the nearly mint-condition, white 1996 sport utility vehicle with 36,000 miles -- a collectible because it was the Bronco's last year of production -- on eBay Inc.

Cuomo asked, "Would you give it to your daughter?" Siracusano told Mid-Hudson News Network. "I said no. He said why? [I said] because it's not that type of vehicle."

Cuomo, who still hadn't identified himself during the Dec. 1 call, also asked Siracusano if he was Democratic or Republican. Siracusano that he doesn't vote a straight party line.

He said Cuomo, a Democrat, replied he appreciated that and asked Siracusano if he knew who he was talking to.

"I said I have no idea. He said 'You're speaking to Gov. Cuomo.' I said: Really? You mean Andrew Cuomo? He said 'Yes, Andrew Cuomo.'

"So then everything started to change," Siracusano said with a laugh.

Cuomo arranged to see the SUV Dec. 5 after returning from Washington to appeal for $42 billion in aid for Hurricane Sandy victims.

Siracusano said Cuomo "looked at the vehicle, he took it for a ride and he made the purchase," but not for a couple of days.

"I was laying in bed. This was about 9 o'clock at night one night, 9:30 at night. I was resting and I get a text, and the text says, 'Hey, Bob, it's your favorite governor.' Just like that."

They texted back and forth, which Siracusano called "the best part."

"I'll be sitting at home a night -- bing! -- the governor's texting me: 'Hey, what about the tires? What about this? What about that? Can we do this? Can we do that?'"

He said Cuomo was courteous and friendly throughout.

"He was a real class act," Siracusano told United Press International Tuesday.

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