Onondaga County Comptroller Bob Antonacci is the designated Republican candidate for the 50th Senate District race. 

Antonacci was endorsed by the Cayuga County Republican Committee Wednesday. The vote was unanimous. He already has the support of the Onondaga County Republican Committee. 

After the vote, Antonacci called the endorsements "a very big vote of confidence" for his campaign. 

"I'm excited at the opportunity, for sure," Antonacci said in a phone interview. 

Antonacci is one of two Republicans in the 50th district race. The other candidate, Rick Guy, participated in the Cayuga County Republicans' endorsement process. He opted not to seek the Onondaga County GOP's designation and pledged to continue his campaign through to the Sept. 13 primary. 

Candidates will begin circulating petitions next week to qualify for the ballot. They must collect 1,000 valid signatures to appear on the Republican primary ballot. 

Antonacci has the support of two minor party lines in his state Senate bid. He has been endorsed by the Cayuga and Onondaga Conservative parties and the state Independence Party. 

On the Democratic side, a primary will likely be averted. John Mannion, a biology teacher at West Genesee High School in Camillus, won the Democratic designation. Another Democrat, DeWitt Town Councilor Joe Chiarenza, planned to pass petitions to get on the primary ballot. 

But on Wednesday, Chiarenza said he has ended his campaign and endorsed Mannion for state Senate. 

The 50th district race is a priority for both parties. Republicans are hoping to retain the seat they have held for decades. DeFrancisco, R-DeWitt, was first elected in 1992. He decided not to seek re-election this year. 

The race will be a key battleground in race for majority control of the state Senate. Republicans hold 31 seats in the state Senate, but hold the majority due to a Democrat, state Sen. Simcha Felder, who caucuses with the GOP. 

The 50th Senate District covers a portion of the city of Syracuse and several towns in Onondaga County. It also includes most of Auburn and the towns of Brutus, Cato, Ira and Sennett in Cayuga County. 

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