CAPITAL REGION — The four Republican state senators representing the Capital Region all endorsed fellow state Sen. John DeFrancisco for governor on Wednesday.
DeFrancisco, R-C-Syracuse, is the deputy majority leader of the Senate and has garnered endorsements from a number of other Republican senators since Jan. 30, when he announced he wants to be the GOP's challenger to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who is a heavy favorite entering his run for a third four-year term.
DeFrancisco on Wednesday earned the endorsements of Sen. George Amedore, R-Rotterdam; Sen. Kathy Marchione, R-Halfmoon; Sen. James Tedisco, R-Glenville; and Sen. James Seward, R-Milford, according to an announcement from the DeFrancisco campaign.
"He has the vision to put New York on a path to economic recovery and promote fiscal responsibility," said Amedore.
DeFrancisco is one of three announced Republican candidates for governor — all from upstate New York. Also in the race are state Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb, from Canandaigua, who announced his candidacy in December, and Joel Giambra, a former Erie County executive. Giambra, from Buffalo, was county executive from 2001 to 2007. If a state primary is needed, it will be held Tuesday, Sept. 11.
DeFrancisco, however, appears off to the quickest start in terms of earning endorsements, though he has yet to file any financial reports and it wasn't clear how much money he will be able to raise to run against Cuomo, who has nearly $30.5 million in his war chest.
DeFrancisco, who has served in the Senate since 1992, describes himself as a fiscal conservative who is interested in improving the business climate in the state and reducing taxes and regulations — very much echoing the mainstream Senate Republicans' strategy.
"I'm proud to strongly support and endorse Sen. John DeFrancisco to be the next governor of New York, as he will be a champion for taxpayers on the pocketbook issues that matter most to turning around the economy in upstate New York and across the state," Tedisco said in a prepared statement.
"John has the energy, ideas and vision needed to deliver real tax relief, preserve and protect the Second Amendment, strengthen our economy, reform government and restore the incredible promise and unrealized potential of our Empire State," Marchione said.
DeFrancisco, 71, has an engineering degree from Syracuse University and a law degree from Duke University Law School. He is a former judge advocate in the U.S. Air Force.