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 said 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.