GOP lawmaker John DeFrancisco to run for New York governor

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A senior Republican New York state senator has filed the paperwork to run for governor and is expected to formally launch his campaign on Tuesday.

John DeFrancisco, a Syracuse attorney, was first elected to the Senate in 1992 and has emerged as a leading critic of Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo's record on taxes, spending and economic development.

DeFrancisco has said for months that he is considering a campaign for governor. He is scheduled to announce his decision in Syracuse.

"I think it's a fair assumption," spokesman Michael Lawler said when asked whether the paperwork filing means that DeFrancisco will run. "He'll make an official announcement tomorrow."

DeFrancisco, 71, will face two other Republicans in the primary: Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb of Canandaigua and former Erie County Executive Joel Giambra. Two other possible candidates, businessman Harry Wilson and Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, said this month that they would not run.

Cuomo is considered a possible 2020 presidential candidate. He is seeking a third term this fall.

The incumbent has a formidable advantage when it comes to party affiliation and fundraising. Democrats have a roughly 2-to-1 advantage in party registration in New York. Cuomo's latest fundraising reports show he has a more than $30 million war chest. His Republican opponents have not filed new fundraising reports since filing for office.

The last Republican to win the governor's office was George Pataki in 2002.