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Kolb backs Molinaro in the race for the GOP nod for governor

Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb, R-Geneva, speaks to

Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb, R-Geneva, speaks to members in the Assembly Chamber during opening day of the 2016 legislative session at the Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016, in Albany, N.Y. Credit: Hans Pennink

ALBANY — Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb will endorse Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro Monday afternoon as part of what he called an effort to bring upstate and downstate appeal to the Republican campaign for governor.

“He’s a bridge to upstate and downstate and he’s not part of Albany,” Kolb, a former candidate himself, told Newsday.

Kolb (R-Canadaigua) had withdrawn in February from the hunt for the GOP nomination for governor to take on Democratic Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo. Soon after, Molinaro entered the race after initially deciding against a run.

Since then, Molinaro has been landed a wave of endorsements from GOP county chairs. He faces state Sen. John DeFrancisco (R-Syracuse) and former Pataki administration official Joseph Holland in the bid for the nomination.

DeFrancisco declined comment Monday.

Kolb said Molinaro would strengthen the GOP ticket because he represents a county within the boundaries of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which gives him experience in issues that affect New York City and Long Island.

Kolb said he wouldn’t consider a spot as lieutenant governor should Molinaro win the Republican nomination.

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