Sen. DeFrancisco Aims for Governor's Office in Next Chapter of Long Political Career
After months of consideration, Syracuse-area state senator John DeFrancisco made it official Tuesday evening in a crowded room of more than 100 supporters at a hotel in Salina.
"There's just too much at stake to sit on the sidelines. New Yorkers need a leader that they can trust. That's why, with your support, I humbly announce my candidacy for governor of The State of New York," DeFrancisco said to cheers and applause.
It's just the latest turn in a 40-year political career that began on the Syracuse City School Board and continued on the common council before landing in the senate in 1992. DeFrancisco, who's 71, says he’s running because it’s time for fundamental change.
"I had great hope for Andrew Cuomo when he first came into office. Things have changed substantially since then. We've got to change now. We can't have four more years."
The long-time senator says New York has become a laughing stock under Cuomo, with the highest taxes, worst business climate, high energy costs, and crumbling infrastructure. DeFrancisco says Cuomo’s failure of leadership and lack of transparency puts politics above citizens. He says it’s clear with the corruption trials underway in Manhattan.
"As governor, Andrew Cuomo has promoted one failed economic policy after the next, creating numerous programs and gimmicks that reward major donors, and often come with great fanfare at the expense of taxpayers. Several of these projects have ended with indictments of some of his closest aides and advisors."
For example, DeFrancisco says a taxpayer-funded $90 million factory in DeWitt was built for an LED light bulb company that walked away, and there were no consequences. DeFrancisco clearly has his sights on defeating Cuomo. But he’s the third republican to declare his intention to run, which could set up a primary race. He says that would mean an even bigger struggle against a well-funded two-term incumbent, and it’s something he and assembly minority leader Brian Kolb mutually agreed on.
"I was with Brian Kolb at an event in Albany, and he came up to me, looked me straight in the eye, and said I just want you to know face to face if you're the nominee, I'm going to support you. Because I do not want to run a primary, either. He already knew I was saying the same thing all along."
The other candidate seeking the nomination is former Erie County Executive Joel Giambra. DeFrancisco is in Albany hitting the interview circuit before heading to Poughkeepsie and New York City.