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DeFrancisco declares he’s running for governor; says “there’s too much at stake to just sit on the sidelines”

By Charles McChesney

Date:

State Senator John DeFrancisco, (R-Syracuse) on Tuesday, at the Holiday Inn Syracuse-Liverpool-Exit 37, formally announced he’s running for New York governor in 2018. (Photo by Charles McChesney)

SALINA, N.Y. — Ending months of speculation State Senator John DeFrancisco, (R-Syracuse), announced late Tuesday afternoon that he is running to become the next governor of New York.

Speaking to more than 120 supporters and family at the Holiday Inn Syracuse-Liverpool-Exit 37, DeFrancisco said, “New Yorkers deserve a leader they can trust and one who will fight for what is right for them and their families.”

DeFrancisco slammed the incumbent governor. “Andrew Cuomo uses his economic development office for political gain,” the state senator contended. “He thinks economic development is one big game of monopoly. Except it’s your money he’s playing with.”

DeFrancisco repeatedly hammered Cuomo on the state’s economic-development programs, citing the still-empty $90 million, state-funded factory put up in DeWitt for a California light maker that the company never occupied.

“And worse yet, as a result of Andrew Cuomo’s failed economic policies people are fleeing this state — over 1 million people have left since he became governor, DeFrancisco noted.

DeFrancisco, who was first elected to the New York Senate in 1992, said he decided to run after months of consideration and discussion because, “there’s just too much at stake to just sit on the sidelines.”

The No. 2 in the Republican-led Senate, DeFrancisco has rivals for the Republican gubernatorial nomination in Assembly minority leader Brian Kolb, R- Canandaigua, and former Erie County Executive Joel Giambra.

Whoever emerges from the GOP field faces an uphill climb to deny Cuomo a third term as the state has 3.4 million more registered Democrat voters than registered Republicans. George Pataki in 2002 was the last Republican to win a statewide office in the Empire State.

DeFrancisco challenged those who say he has little chance of winning. “Once in a blue moon we can bring about fundamental change,” he said. Then he noted, “tonight is an actual blue moon.”

Contact McChesney at cmcchesney@cnybj.com

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