A handful of state Sen. John DeFrancisco's colleagues endorsed him for governor Monday.
DeFrancisco, R-DeWitt, announced he has the support of state Sens. Fred Akshar, John Bonacic, Phil Boyle, Tom Croci and Patrick Gallivan. Three of the senators represent update districts. The other two hail from Long Island.
Akshar, R-Colesville, praised DeFrancisco, who serves as deputy majority leader of the state Senate. He said the Syracuse-area Republican has the experience and judgment to rebuild the state's economy.
"We need a leader who will put the people before politics, and my colleague and friend Sen. John DeFrancisco is the man to do it as the next governor of New York," Akshar said.
Bonacic, R-Mount Hope, has served with DeFrancisco the longest of the five senators. He was elected to the state Senate in 1998, six years after DeFrancisco was elected to represent his central New York district.
As a colleague for nearly 20 years, Bonacic said he knows that DeFrancisco is "by far the best candidate to lead our statewide ticket to victory this November."
"He has an in-depth knowledge of the workings of state government and his detailed knowledge of policy is unrivaled," Bonacic said. "His service as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, and as deputy majority leader, have demonstrated his ability to lead and get things done for the residents of New York state."
The endorsements from Senate colleagues follows the announcement that the Onondaga County Republican Committee backed DeFrancisco in the gubernatorial race. The Onondaga County GOP is DeFrancisco's home county.
DeFrancisco is one of three announced candidates for the Republican gubernatorial nomination. The others are Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb and Joel Giambra, a former Erie County executive.
Kolb, R-Canandaigua, has already announced several endorsements from prominent New York officials and county committees. He has the support of the Clinton, Ontario, Seneca and Yates county Republican committees. Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, who was the GOP nominee for New York City mayor last year, endorsed Kolb's bid for governor.
Republicans are expected to meet in May to designate a candidate in the race. The party is hoping to unseat Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has been in office since 2011. Cuomo is seeking a third term.