NYS Senate Deputy Majority Leader John DeFrancisco has announced his candidacy to run against current governor Andrew Cuomo in the next election season. Recently endorsed by Senate Majority Leader, John Flanagan, Defrancisco is quickly gaining momentum on his path to a possible GOP nomination.

Senator DeFrancisco, a 71-year-old Republican from Syracuse, holds a rather diverse background making him quite the eligible candidate for Governor. After graduating in the top 10% of his class at Duke University and earning his Juris Doctor degree, Defrancisco went on to practice law in New York before serving as a Judge Advocate for the United States Air Force. After his service, he served roles as a district attorney, adjunct professor, President of the Syracuse Common Council, President of the Syracuse City School District Board of Education, President of the Central New York Leukemia Society, Vice President of the Conference of Large City Boards of Education, and President of the Central New York Combined Health Appeal. He has devoted his life to helping his community of Syracuse and the state as a whole.

Prior to holding his current position as Deputy Majority leader of the State Senate, Defrancisco successfully served as Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, where he played both a paramount role while being involved with governor’s state budget plans, and advocated for reform of the state justice selection process. As for his top priorities while in the state senate, Defrancisco has focused on increasing government transparency, working on the state budget, creating more jobs, improving public safety as well as reducing crime rates, and reforming public assistance. He has sponsored several different pieces of successful legislation including Tiffany Heitkamp’s law, “Vince’s Law”, Jenna’s Law, and is currently the co-sponsor of Maddox’s Law. He also played a crucial role in making sure the bills passed that provided for the Amber Alert system in the state and for the creation of the “Gold Alert” system in the state as well.

Amidst his recent challenges with scandals coming from his top aides, Governor Cuomo may face some difficulties within the next year as support for Defrancisco increases. Defrancisco promises to turn the state around and fix problems that he claims Cuomo has yet to address properly. Of his campaign promises, Defrancisco plans on fixing state spending and repairing the broken upstate economy. Beyond that, he emphasizes the importance of having a Republican as governor and how the political dynamic of the state would prosper as a result. Right now with Cuomo and De Blasio, both Democrats, intensely focusing more of their efforts on competing with each other, the state may be missing critical opportunities to make positive changes. Having that said, Republicans like Defrancisco in particular, are pushing to get someone of the opposing party to switch up this dynamic so that New Yorkers could potentially see some significant progress. Rather than having one party struggle within itself, the state would have both parties representing them on an equal playing field. Only time will tell if a GOP candidate effecting this dynamic could actually become a reality.