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Ortt among Republican state senators backing DeFrancisco for governor

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 13 February 2018 at 8:54 am

Photo by Tom Rivers: John DeFrancisco, a state senator from Syracuse, speaks during the Orleans County Republican Rally on Oct. 19 at the White Birch in Lyndonville.

Rob Ortt has joined several of his Republican colleagues in the State Senate in endorsing John DeFrancisco for governor.

DeFrancisco is a long-time state senator from Syracuse. He is seeking the Republican nomination to challenge Andrew Cuomo for governor. DeFrancisco’s path is easier since Brian Kolb, a state assemblyman from ear Canandaigua, announced on Friday he wouldn’t be running for governor. Many of the Republican chairman in upstate were backing Kolb.

DeFrancisco announced the support of his State Senate colleagues on Monday, including Joseph Griffo, Bill Larkin, Rob Ortt, Mike Ranzenhofer and Patty Ritchie.

Ortt is from North Tonawanda. His district includes Orleans, Niagara and a portion of western Monroe counties.

“John DeFrancisco possesses the qualities we need in our next Governor,” Ortt said. “I’ve been fortunate to know John as a personal friend and professional colleague. He’s a brilliant public servant with the utmost integrity. He doesn’t shy away from a fight and he says what’s on his mind even if it’s not what you want to hear. And while those tendencies may be frowned upon in Albany, that’s exactly what the people of this great state deserve.”

The executive committee of the Orleans County Republican Committee is scheduled to meet Feb. 24 to make its endorsements for governor, and other state and federal offices.

DeFrancisco, 70, spoke during the Orleans County Republican Rally on Oct. 19. He is the Senate Majority Leader in Albany, the second in command. The Syracuse resident has nearly 30 years as a state legislator.

Cuomo appears to be heavily favored for re-election to a third term. He has $30 million in his campaign war chest, and Democrats have a significant enrollment advantage statewide over Republicans.

But DeFrancisco said George Pataki faced a similar daunting challenge in 1994 when he ran against Mario Cuomo. Pataki at the time was a state legislator after serving as mayor of tiny Peekskill.

DeFrancisco told Orleans Republicans on Oct. 19 it feels like déjà vu as Andrew Cuomo pursues a third four-year term. Both Cuomos were talked about for possible runs for U.S. president while they were long-serving governors.

DeFrancisco said both presided over significant population losses and economic decline upstate, while pushing a liberal social agenda on the state.

“Everything he does has a purpose, and that is to benefit himself,” DeFrancisco said about Cuomo. “He wants to promote his national image.”

DeFrancisco favors across-the-board tax cuts, rather than targeted tax breaks and incentives for some businesses.

“We got to have everyone benefit,” he said.

State Sen. Rob Ortt introduced DeFrancisco during the Oct. 19 event.

“He’s a fighter,” Ortt said. “He fights every day for the values of Upstate New York and Orleans County.”

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