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Buffalo’s Giambra becomes 2nd Republican to jump in gov race

Make it two Republicans who now have declared their candidacy for governor.

Joel Giambra, the former Eric County executive, told Buffalo media outlets that he is a candidate for the GOP nomination and has begun hiring a campaign team. He said he is beginning to reach out to Republican county chairmen to build support.

“At this point,” Giambra told the Buffalo News, “I haven’t talked to enough county chairs and Republican Party leaders. Right now I’m working hard to convince them that I might have the best chance as a Republican to win in November.”

Giambra joins Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb (R-Canandaigua) as the announced candidates. Sen. John DeFrancisco (R-Syracuse) and Dutchess County Marcus Molinaro have said they are considering a run. Earlier this week, Harry Wilson, a wealthy investment manager who ran for state comptroller in 2010, said he won’t run.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a Democrat, has said he intends to run for a third term.

Giambra, 60, served as Erie County executive from 2000 to 2007. He had been a Democrat till switching to Republican in 1999. After leaving elected office, Giambra had worked as an executive at Park Strategies, the lobbying firm headed by former Sen. Alfonse D’Amato. Giambra resigned from the company shortly before Christmas.

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