Kolb Out, Holland In Update on New York's Gubernatorial Race By Natalie Baldassarre

In a sudden turn of events, GOP gubernatorial hopeful Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb issued a statement Friday evening announcing the end of his campaign for Governor. Kolb said he wasn’t prepared to spend the next nine months without his family, but vowed to continue fighting for New York families and “end the corruption in the Cuomo administration.”

Despite the loss of Kolb, the GOP’s pool of candidates hasn’t gotten any smaller. Late Tuesday night, Joseph Holland formally announced his campaign for Governor in an email to Republican county chairmen across the state. Holland – who served as co-chairman of Gov. George Pataki’s 1994 campaign and New York State Commissioner of Housing and Community Renewal – said he “will be announcing his candidacy in a newsworthy fashion before the end of the month.”

Holland will join former County Executive Joel Giambra and State Senate Deputy Majority Leader John DeFrancisco in the fight to unseat Cuomo in 2018. As always, a GOP run for New York governor takes on a Quixotic tone, but optimistic rank and file Republicans see opportunity in the corruption trial of Joe Percoco, Cuomo's former right hand man, which will likely drag into the summer.

The state GOP has yet to make a decision on who will receive their sought after endorsement, but have promised the race will take on an “anybody but Cuomo,” tone. DeFrancisco, seen as the GOP frontrunner, has already locked up endorsements from nine Republican county chairmen. However, O’Brien Murray, a well-known Republican consultant, wrote an email Tuesday to state leaders urging them to “hold-off.”

“Gov. Cuomo’s campaign will attack John DeFrancisco for double dipping and they will point out that Sen. DeFrancisco voted for the Cuomo budgets. You can’t fix Albany when you are part of the problem, and voters (will) see this too,” Murray wrote in an email to GOP leaders.

According to a Monday report from The Daily News, many Republicans are still eyeing the possibility of entering the race, including State Republican Party Chairman Ed Cox, and even former Governor Pataki himself. A recent Siena College poll showed a dip in Gov. Cuomo’s favorability since January, however, it doesn't appear to be enough to flip the seat in 2018.

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