Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro has been the presumptive Republican gubernatorial candidate for weeks. On Wednesday, the state party officially designated him its candidate.
“Now New York State’s going to get an opportunity to see Marc up close and personal in this race and they’re going to find a very engaging, intelligent, terrific individual that has provided a real stark contrast to the current governor,” said Brian Kolb, (R) Assembly minority leader.
Although he’s been in politics since he was 19–when he became the nation’s youngest mayor 24 years ago–Molinaro and the party are casting him as a regular guy who cares about public service more than power.
His running mate Julie Killian, who also received the party designation, says he is in many ways the antithesis of Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
“Marc’s demeanor, his open, honest approach to government, will be a breath of fresh air in a state hobbled by cynicism and self-interest. It’s what makes me want to run with him the most,” Killian (R) said.
Molinaro’s platform in many ways is traditionally Republican. He wants to fundamentally change the state’s tax structure and find efficiencies in state government.
However, he’s also focusing on issues like the environment and ethics which could appeal to Democrats and independents, two groups he appealed to several times during his speech.
“I speak to you from the depths of my soul in saying this: I care. I know what it means to struggle. I know what it’s like to need a helping hand and I care about making your life a little better,” said Molinaro.
The campaign is embracing comparisons to George Pataki, another perceived moderate and the last Republican governor of New York State.
“To our friends in the media who have written their stories: ‘Molinaro’s A Great Guy, But How Can He Win?’ You wrote the same thing about me in 1994 and just like in 1994 in November 2018 you’re going to be going, ‘how did this happen?’” said Pataki.
On Thursday, the Republican Party turns to the state comptroller and attorney general races. The difference between Day One and Day Two: there are multiple candidates in those races, so there potentially could be a bit more intrigue.