Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro has effectively locked up the Republican Party's
nomination for governor.

Author: By Jon Campbell, Gannett Albany
Published: 12:49 PM EDT April 26, 2018
Updated: 12:49 PM EDT April 26, 2018

ALBANY - Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro effectively locked up the Republican Party's nomination for governor after the Westchester County GOP threw its support behind him late Wednesday.

Westchester GOP Chairman Doug Colety said his committee will endorse Molinaro's bid to take on Gov. Andrew Cuomo or Cynthia Nixon this fall, clearing Molinaro's path to the Republican nomination at the party's convention next month.

Colety's endorsement pushed Molinaro over the 75 percent threshold of the GOP's weighted nominating vote, assuming committee members vote with their county leaders at the party's convention next month.

The Erie County Republican Committee endorsed Molinaro earlier this year.

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Today, Erie County Republican Chairman Nick Langworthy offered his full endorsement of Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro’s candidacy for Governor. Langworthy said, “Marc Molinaro is the only candidate who can beat Andrew Cuomo in November. His proven record of integrity, innovation, passion for service and ethical governance is exactly what New York State needs.
This is about having a candidate that can stand up for real New Yorkers and put an end to the culture of corruption that Andrew Cuomo’s Administration has let cripple our once great Empire State from Niagara Falls to Montauk Point. Marc Molinaro is the independent leader we need to unlock New York’s untapped potential.
Now is the time for Republicans to come together and support Marc Molinaro to be the next Governor of the State of New York.”

If the support holds, it would prevent other candidates from automatically appearing on the September primary ballot without collecting petitions to get on.

Senate Deputy Majority Leader John DeFrancisco, R-DeWitt, Onondaga County, and Joe Holland, a former housing official under Gov. George Pataki, had also been seeking the Republican nod.

"(Molinaro) has the momentum; he has the energy," Colety said in an interview. "He's from the Hudson Valley. We want to be part of that campaign, and we want the party and him to be aggressive in going after Cuomo."
Colety said he polled town GOP leaders Wednesday on the governor's race before announcing the endorsement.

Westchester's support came the same day six county chairs, including Broome GOP Chair Bijoy Datta, flipped their endorsement from DeFrancisco to Molinaro as the Dutchess Republican cemented his place as the party's frontrunner.

The lost endorsements led DeFrancisco to say he would stop actively campaigning for the nomination.
As of Wednesday night, the Syracuse-area senator had support from county chairs representing about 11 percent of the weighted vote, while Holland had none.

"There's really very little likelihood that there's a window of opportunity for me anymore," DeFrancisco told reporters in the Capitol.

In a statement, Molinaro said he was "incredibly humbled" by the support of Colety and other county leaders.
"But this is just the beginning, as we launch our campaign to restore affordability, accessibility and accountability for all New Yorkers," said Molinaro, a former mayor and state assemblyman from the town of Tivoli.

Cuomo, meanwhile, is facing a Democratic primary from Nixon, the Sex and the City star challenging the governor from the political left. New York's state-level primary election is Sept. 13.

Democrats are set to hold their nominating convention on Long Island on May 24, while Republicans will hold theirs the same day in Manhattan.

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