Less than a week after he told Republican leaders he is running for governor, Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro has the support of 16 GOP county chairs.
Molinaro's campaign rolled out eight more endorsements Thursday. The most notable supporter is Erie County Republican Chairman Nick Langworthy. Erie County is one of the largest in terms of the Republican convention's weighted vote and Langworthy is one of the more influential leaders in the party.
Langworthy believes Molinaro is the only candidate who can defeat Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo in the general election.
"This is about having a candidate that can stand with 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," Langworthy said. "Marc Molinaro is the independent leader we need to unlock New York's untapped potential."
The Republican chairs from Columbia, Fulton, Greene, Hamilton, Ontario, Orleans and Saratoga counties also endorsed Molinaro.
Trisha Turner, who chairs the Ontario County Republican Committee, previously endorsed Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb for governor. (Ontario is Kolb's home county.) But Kolb dropped out of the race in February.
"Marc Molinaro is a dedicated public servant and family man," Turner said. "He has represented his community well during his time as a public servant and he will continue his record of success as our next governor."
The 16 GOP chairs supporting Molinaro represent 35.35 percent of the weighted vote. It's possible that the county's state committee members could support someone else, but they usually unite behind one candidate at the nominating convention.
Molinaro's closest competitor is state Sen. John DeFrancisco, who entered the race in late January. DeFrancisco, R-DeWitt, has been endorsed by 17 GOP county chairs representing 18.23 percent of the weighted vote.
There are a few big counties up for grabs. The Nassau and Westchester Republican county chairs have yet to endorse in the race. And none of the GOP leaders from New York City's five boroughs have backed any of the gubernatorial candidates.
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