Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro endorsed Rep. Lee Zeldin for governor on Tuesday in yet another signal the Long Island Republican is working to unify the party more than a year ahead of the June primary.
The development also takes a potential rival for Zeldin off the board. Molinaro was the 2018 Republican nominee against Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo and had not ruled out running again next year.
The field for the Republicans is an unusually large one. Zeldin announced his bid in April, and was followed weeks later by former Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino and Andrew Giuliani.
"The truth of the matter is we need good people who will stand up and fight for ordinary New Yorkers, and Lee Zeldin not only understands that, but has done it as a Congressman and has done it in the United States Armed Services," Molinaro said. "This is an individual who understands the history and the value of sacrificing one's life for something greater than themselves. This is an individual who understands the history and the value of good people who simply stand firm in what they believe and stand up for the people they serve, and for that reason I proudly endorse Lee Zeldin for Governor."
Zeldin over the last month has racked up a series of endorsements from elected Republican officials and GOP county chairs across the state.
Where does this leave Molinaro? A potential run for Congress?
He's pointedly left his options open ended for much of the year, releasing a video that hinted at a run for something in the near future.