Without an obvious candidate to take on Gov. Andrew Cuomo this year, state Republican leaders huddled in chilly Albany on Monday to try to find a challenger.

The meeting was held at the swanky Fort Orange Club in downtown Albany, frequented by many of the elected Republicans during the legislative session.

Party leaders heard from two declared candidates, but they also held out hope that someone else could emerge.

"In 1994, a no-name, no-fund candidate named George Pataki emerged in April," New York Republican Party Chair Ed Cox told members of the news media. "So, we are four months ahead of schedule here."

So far, former Erie County Executive Joel Giambra has announced he is running, but he may have trouble winning over the Conservative Party line, which makes his candidacy less viable.

State Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb has also jumped into the race.

"I think there is real vulnerability there. We need more time, because I'm not a candidate with statewide name recognition, and I don't think any of the other candidates are as well," Kolb said. "But that is what you need to do on a day-in, day-out basis."

Cox tweeted out a photo of the meeting with the state's Republican county chairs that drew criticism from Democrats on Twitter, who pointed out that the attendees in the photos were all men.

One Republican not at the meeting was State Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, who garnered nearly 30 percent of the vote in the city when she took on Mayor Bill de Blasio in November.

"I don't even know what the meeting was or when it took place," Malliotakis said. "But what I will say is that there is a real case to make against Andrew Cuomo. We are the highest-taxed state in the nation. We have one of the worst business climates."

Party leaders say that no matter what happens, Republicans will be unified.

"The candidates have pledged no primary going forward," Cox said. "Which means we are going to be unified going forward."

If the Republican nominee winds up being someone who hasn't declared, he or she will have to do so soon — not so much for the logistics, as petitioning does not start for several months, but because of the fundraising. Cuomo is likely to have $30 million in the bank for his re-election campaign, and a candidate would have to get started right away to even come close to matching that.