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Dutchess County Exec Molinaro Eyes 2018 Gubernatorial Challenge To Cuomo

Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro.
Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro. Photo Credit: File photo

A county executive from the Hudson Valley may be ready to challenge incumbent New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and it's not Rob Astorino -- at least not yet.

Marc Molinaro, the county exec of Dutchess County, said late Thursday afternoon he's "giving serious thought" to throwing his hat in the ring to for the Republican nomination in the 2018 election, in which Cuomo, a Democrat, will almost certainly be his party's nominee.

Astorino, Westchester's county exec, was the Republican nominee in the 2014 gubernatorial election, in which Cuomo, himself a resident of New Castle in Northern Westchester, was elected to a second four-year term.

"With a young family and a new addition, our 6-month-old son, the timing (for a possible gubernatorial run) is not perfect; but the circumstances across our state grows more dire everyday," Molinaro said. "With hard work, love and commitment, my family is strong - but the family of New York is a family in crisis."

Molinaro cites New York's high property taxes and lagging job growth along with the heroin epidemic as his main causes for concern.

"The mood around the state is one of frustration, impatience, and even anger," Molinaro said. "Sadly, many people are so alienated and disappointed, they are giving up on New York. Tragically, others are in crisis and on the verge of giving up on themselves, on their family, on hope for the future.

"Every day people ask me, 'Why can't our government in Albany, do what we have done here in Dutchess - be honest, effective, and committed to the singular idea of fairness? Why is it so hard to say 'no' to the special interests?'

"I know - and you know - it all starts with leadership ... it starts with the governor."

Astorino, who is running for re-election as Westchester county exec this year, has not announced a possible second straight run for governor in 2018.

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