There are two months to go until the state Republican convention, but Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro already has enough support to secure the GOP gubernatorial nomination.
With the Manhattan Republican Party's endorsement Wednesday, Molinaro has the support of 32 GOP county chairs and committees representing 50.3 percent of the weighted vote at the convention.
To win the nomination at the convention, a candidate must secure at least 50 percent of the vote from the 450-plus state committee members.
Molinaro informed Republican leaders on March 2 that he is a candidate for governor. The decision was made after saying in January he wouldn't seek the GOP gubernatorial nomination. He was urged to reconsider by some GOP officials.
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Since early March, Molinaro has collected endorsements from chairs across the state. Some of his notable supporters include Erie County Republican Chairman Nick Langworthy, Monroe County Republican Chairman Bill Reilich and Suffolk County Republican Chairman John Jay LaValle.
Erie, Monroe and Suffolk counties represent more than 21 percent of the weighted vote at the GOP convention.
Molinaro's main competition for the nomination is state Sen. John DeFrancisco, a Syracuse-area Republican who has been in the race since late January. DeFrancisco has the support of 17 Republican county chairs and committees representing 18.27 percent of the weighted vote at the convention.
DeFrancisco plans to continue campaigning even with Molinaro as the clear front-runner for the nomination. During an appearance Thursday on "The Capitol Pressroom" with Susan Arbetter, he questioned why Molinaro would enter the race after initially citing personal reasons for not running. But he pledged to back the Dutchess County executive if he wins the nomination.
"I know what politics is. It's hardball. Sometimes it's not very logical. It's part of the game," he said. "Apparently he had the elements to get this group behind him and if he gets it, I'll support him."
With the support of a majority of Republican chairs and committees in New York, Molinaro announced Wednesday that he will formally announce his candidacy in April. While he told GOP leaders that he was entering the race, he hasn't made a public announcement about his plans.
That will change on April 2. Molinaro's campaign hasn't revealed whether he will hold a single kickoff event or if he will make several stops across the state.
"Now more than at any time in our lifetime, New Yorkers need new leadership in the Capitol, which is why I am a candidate for governor," Molinaro said in a statement. "I am deeply humbled by the challenge, but my determination is driven by the need."
If Molinaro wins the Republican nomination, he will likely challenge Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Cuomo, a Democrat, is seeking a third term as the state's top executive.
Cuomo will face a primary for the Democratic nod. There is already one challenger, former state Sen. Terry Gipson, and at least one other candidate is expected to enter the race. Cynthia Nixon, an activist and actress best known for her role in "Sex and the City," is exploring a run.
|Support for Molinaro|