Get To Know GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Marc Molinaro

Things have gotten a little more interesting for upstate Democrats in the past week or so, as Sex And The City actress Cynthia Nixon launched a gubernatorial campaign, attempting to unseat current New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in a potential primary runoff. But while that schism is taking place in the Democratic Party, the Republican Party has its own ideas. And they’re hoping a little youthful exuberance is the ticket.

Meet Dutchess County’s 7th County Executive Marcus J. “Marc” Molinaro—the youngest such executive in county history (he’s just 36)—who’s launched his own gubernatorial campaign. A Yonkers native, Molinaro’s actually been setting an example for young politicians since 1994, when he was first elected to public office at the tender age of 18. The following year, he became the youngest mayor in the US, when he was elected Mayor of Tivoli, a small village in Dutchess County (he was reelected five times).

Molinaro first appeared in Albany in 2006, when he was elected to represent the 103rd District in the New York State Assembly. And he actually has a rather positive history with Cuomo, who previously appointed him to serve on the Governor’s Mandate Relief Redesign Team. Molinaro’s been active in local preservation initiatives, and has also been an advocate to people living with special needs and developmental disabilities. He was even named “Best Politician” by Hudson Valley Magazine in 2012.

On Tuesday, Molinaro released his first campaign video, which lays out his plan for running against the incumbent Gov. Cuomo, though he makes no mention of him in it.

In the video, Molinaro talks about the need to hold politicians to the “highest standard,” and discusses his personal ethos, which is to just do his best. Will his best be enough, though? At the time of Nixon’s campaign kickoff, per a Siena College poll, both she and Molinaro were lagging, considerably, behind Cuomo in their election bids. For Molinaro, that’s to the tune of 57 percent to 29 percent, a nearly two-to-one advantage for the incumbent governor.

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