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DeFrancisco tours upstate, considering run for governor

Tom Magnarelli
WRVO News File Photo

Central New York Republican state Sen. John DeFrancisco has been traveling around upstate meeting with members of his party to discuss the possibility of him running for governor next year. DeFrancisco said there is discontent with Gov. Andrew Cuomo on both sides of the aisle.

New York State had a population loss last year and DeFrancisco said that is one of the main reasons why things need to change and why he is considering a run for governor.

“To me, that’s very dangerous," DeFrancisco said. "I think the reason that people are leaving is because the state is overtaxed. We’re spending money on multimillion-dollar projects to attract businesses in. We’re creating more responsibilities on business.”

DeFrancisco took aim at the state’s minimum wage increase, paid family leave and free college tuition. All programs he said are wonderful but ultimately become another burden on small businesses and taxpayers.

“Whatever thoughts there might have been of these types of programs being advantageous to the state of New York, I think that has been dispelled by the flight from the state,” DeFrancisco said.

He said he knows the fear is that an upstate Republican can’t win the governorship, but he said he helped former Republican Gov. George Pataki win.

“Nobody, when he came up here first, knew what a Pataki was,” DeFrancisco said. "Obviously, the difficulty is for someone from central or western New York to win when the population is down in the New York City area. But I think if the message is right and people believe that things have to change, you just never know what is going to happen in politics, especially nowadays." 

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner is considering a Democratic primary challenge against Cuomo, which DeFrancisco said shows that liberals are also not satisfied. DeFrancisco said he could make a decision on running for governor by the end of the year.

Tom Magnarelli is a reporter covering the central New York and Syracuse area. He joined WRVO as a freelance reporter in 2012 while a student at Syracuse University and was hired full time in 2015. He has reported extensively on politics, education, arts and culture and other issues around central New York.