ALBANY — Confirming a worst-kept secret, Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro said Wednesday he’s back in the race for governor.
Molinaro, a Republican, will formally kick off his campaign April 2. He has been piling up dozens of endorsements from Republican county chairs over the past several weeks, including from Suffolk County GOP leader John Jay LaValle.
Molinaro, 42, formed a campaign committee in December and announced in January he decided against running. But he privately told Republicans he was back in after winning a straw poll earlier this month.
The former state assemblyman cited the conviction of Joseph Percoco, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s former top aide and campaign manager, as one reason New Yorkers should back him.
“Yesterday’s verdict is an indictment, not just of one man, but of the cynical systematic corruption within in a state government Governor Cuomo has led,” Molinaro said in a statement. “New Yorkers deserve better. Now more than at any time in our lifetime, New Yorkers need new leadership in the Capitol, which is why I am a candidate for governor.”
Sen. John DeFrancisco (R-Syracuse) and former Pataki administration official Joseph Holland also are vying for the Republican nomination.
Cuomo has pointed out that he was never implicated in the alleged Percoco scheme, in which the former aide was convicted of soliciting and taking bribes in connection with helping campaign contributors win construction contracts and permits.