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NY right aligning with Molinaro for gov; DeFrancisco re-evaluating

The executive committee of the state Conservative Party has voted to endorse the Dutchess County executive.

State Sen. John DeFrancisco, left, and Dutchess

State Sen. John DeFrancisco, left, and Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro are among Republicans who want to challenge Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo. Photo Credit: Composite: Charles Eckert; Dutchess County Executive

ALBANY — The Conservative Party has given its informal gubernatorial endorsement to Republican Marc Molinaro, the latest sign that New York’s right is aligning behind the Dutchess County executive.

And with it, another candidate, Sen. John DeFrancisco (R-Syracuse), indicated he’s re-evaluating his campaign.

The Conservatives’ executive committee voted to endorse Molinaro, as first reported by the Daily News. Though the party can’t officially nominate the Republican until its convention next month, the committee vote essentially seals it — much like the executive committee of the Working Families Party already has endorsed Democrat Cynthia Nixon.

“Marc Molinaro will make New York more affordable and end Andrew Cuomo’s culture of corruption — he has the record, the message and the integrity to get our state back on track,” Conservative Party Chairman Mike Long said in a news release from the Molinaro campaign.

Molinaro also has secured endorsements from most Republican county chairs.

DeFrancisco said Monday he’s still in the race. But he acknowledged it’s “practical” for Republicans and Conservatives to be united to have a shot in a state where Democrats have a better than 2-to-1 enrollment advantage.

“I thought I had a good record with the Conservative Party. But sometimes background and record is not as important as political analyses,” DeFrancisco told reporters at the State Capitol. “It’s one thing to think you can win and change the direction of this state, but you have to be practical . . . If the Conservatives and Republicans are not united, then it’s very difficult to win.”

Asked if he definitely would stay in the race through the Republican convention, which begins May 23, the senator said: “I don’t what I’m going to do at this point and time.”

Former Pataki administration official Joe Holland also is vying for the Republican nod, though he’s seen as a longshot.


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