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Chris Gibson

In this Friday, Jan. 29, 2016 photo, former Rep. Chris Gibson, R-N.Y., talks to a constituent in his district office in Kinderhook, N.Y. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

Mike Groll

Chris Gibson, a former three-term congressman who represented parts of the Hudson Valley and Southern Tier, will lead Marc Molinaro's gubernatorial campaign.

Molinaro, who is seeking the Republican nomination, announced Wednesday that Gibson has been named campaign chairman. 

"Chris Gibson embodies the high standards for integrity, commitment and service by which we will run this campaign and which we will ultimately restore to the state Capitol in Albany," Molinaro said in a statement. "I am honored that he has agreed to serve as campaign chairman." 

Gibson represented the 19th Congressional District from 2011 to 2017. The district includes parts of Dutchess County, where Molinaro serves as county executive. 

When he was first elected to Congress in 2010, Gibson pledged he would serve no more than four terms in office. After winning re-election in 2014, he announced he wouldn't seek a fourth term in 2016. 

Gibson considered running for governor after opting not to seek re-election to Congress. But in May 2016, he announced that he wouldn't be a candidate for statewide office in 2018. 

After leaving Congress, Gibson has been a visiting lecturer at Williams College and he wrote a book, "Rally Point: Five Tasks to Unite the Country and Revitalize the American Dream." In the book, Gibson reflected on his career in the military and in Congress. He also commented on current events and issues, including Donald Trump's presidency. 

Before he launched his campaign, Molinaro released a video that contained a photo of him and Gibson seated next to each other at an event. Molinaro also revealed he cast a write-in vote for Gibson instead of voting for Trump or any other candidate in the 2016 presidential race. 

Molinaro is one of three candidates seeking the Republican gubernatorial nomination. State Sen. John DeFrancisco and attorney Joe Holland are the others. 

As of Wednesday, Molinaro has been endorsed by 36 GOP county chairs representing more than 55 percent of the weighted vote at the convention. The GOP convention will be held in May. 

"Marc Molinaro is the right person to clear the cloud of corruption that has descended over the governor's office and restore New Yorker's faith in the future of our state — I'm honored to serve as chairman of his campaign," Gibson said in a statement. 

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