Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro is approaching the threshold necessary to secure the Republican gubernatorial nomination to challenge Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Molinaro has been endorsed by 27 GOP county chairs. His latest supporter is Courtney Greene, chairwoman of the Orange County Republican Committee.
Greene lauded Molinaro for his record of success as an elected official.
"A tax cutter, a fighter for the people, and a caring and compassionate leader, Marc will put the people of New York first," she said.
With Greene's support, Molinaro has now secured endorsements from GOP county leaders representing more than 44 percent of the weighted vote. To receive the party's gubernatorial nomination, he needs at least 50 percent of the vote at the convention.
The GOP convention will be held in May.
Molinaro's campaign began rolling out endorsements last week. Some of his earliest supporters were the chairs from Erie, Monroe and Suffolk counties, which account for more than 21 percent of the weighted vote.
State Sen. John DeFrancisco has the support of 16 chairs whose counties account for more than 17 percent of the weighted vote. He was endorsed by 18 chairs before last week. Two of the chairs who initially supported DeFrancisco, R-DeWitt, are now backing Molinaro.
Republicans hope to avoid a primary so the party can focus on Cuomo, who they believe is vulnerable. The incumbent governor is seeking a third term this year.
Molinaro spent most of the past year exploring a run for governor until deciding in January that he wouldn't be a candidate for the Republican nomination. After he opted not to run, Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb appeared to be the front-runner. He was gathering endorsements from chairs across the state.
But in February, Kolb abruptly dropped out of the race. That left DeFrancisco as the top contender for the GOP nod.
Some Republican leaders weren't satisfied. A "Draft Molinaro" campaign was launched to encourage the Dutchess County executive and former state assemblyman to reconsider. When GOP leaders gathered in Saratoga Springs two weeks ago, Molinaro informed them that he is a candidate for governor.
|Molinaro||Weighted Vote||DeFrancisco||Weighted Vote|