John DeFrancisco

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News (file photo)

Onondaga County Comptroller Bob Antonacci has won the Republican designation in the race to fill retiring central New York state Sen. John Defrancisco’s seat. The 50th district, which includes parts of Onondaga County, has been in Republican control for decades. Antonacci won over Syracuse Common Councilor Joe Carni, who Antonacci said has agreed to support him and not challenge him in a primary. Antonacci said he has the best balance of business and government experience to fix Albany.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

The lone Republican on Syracuse’s Common Council is the latest candidate to announce plans to run for the 50th State Senate district seat that's being vacated by longtime State Sen. John DeFrancisco (R-Syracuse).

Surrounded by family and friends in front of the family business, Joe Carni said he has unique qualifications that make him the best candidate for the job.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News (file photo)

The race for the Republican nomination for the state Senate seat being vacated by longtime Sen. John DeFrancisco (R-Syracuse) is heating up.

Onondaga County Comptroller Bob Antonocci has sent a letter to Onondaga and Cayuga County Republican Party members announcing his intention to run for the 50th state Senate district seat, which covers parts of Onondaga and Cayuga counties.

Antonocci believes he has the skill set to make a difference in Albany.

Durrie Bouscaren / WRVO News File Photo

Syracuse-area State Sen. John DeFrancisco does not plan to seek reelection this year, even if his bid for governor is unsuccessful. The Republican, who represents most of Onondaga County and parts of Cayuga County, has served in the senate for 25 years.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

State Sen. John DeFrancisco (R-Syracuse) announced Wednesday that he will no longer actively campaign for governor. The announcement came after an increasing number of Republican county chairs in New York endorsed Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro.

NYSenate.gov

Updated at 3:40 p.m. Tuesday

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - The New York state Senate will remain in Republican hands - for now.

A key Democratic state senator who has sided with Republicans said Tuesday that he will stay put - even if Democrats win two special elections Tuesday and win a numeric Senate majority.

Brooklyn Sen. Simcha Felder has long sat with Senate Republicans, to the frustration of members of his own party. Democratic leaders had hoped Felder might return if they win Tuesday's elections in Westchester County and the Bronx.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News File Photo

Cynthia Nixon spent Thursday traveling the New York State Thruway from Syracuse to Rochester as part of her upstate campaign swing. In between stops, the actor and underdog candidate talked about how Hillary Clinton’s loss in the 2016 presidential race helped inspire her to run for governor, and why she thinks Andrew Cuomo is not doing enough to help the state.

Molinaro for Governor / Facebook

Another candidate has announced he will challenge Andrew Cuomo for governor. This time, it’s Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, a Republican who offered a political indictment of Cuomo’s practices and temperament in office.

cynthianixonfornewyork.com

Candidate for Governor of New York Cynthia Nixon delivered a blistering speech against Gov. Andrew Cuomo Monday, who she hopes to challenge in a Democratic primary.  She was immediately criticized by a Cuomo ally, who questioned Nixon’s qualifications in a controversial remark. 

Payne Horning / WRVO News File Photo

A federal jury found Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s former top aide Joe Percoco guilty on three counts of bribery and conspiracy to commit honest service fraud in a Manhattan courtroom on Tuesday.

Percoco, who has been described as being like a “brother” to the governor, was found guilty of participating in two bribery schemes, where he netted nearly $300,000.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

State Assemblyman Brian Kolb (R-Canandaigua) dropped out of the race for the Republican nomination for governor last week. That leaves one fewer obstacle for gubernatorial hopeful John DeFrancisco, but he’s not ready to take on the mantle of front runner yet.

kolbfornewyork.com

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Republican state lawmaker Brian Kolb has dropped out of the race for New York governor.

The assemblyman said Friday that he decided he doesn’t want to sacrifice time with his family in order to mount a long campaign. His decision leaves two Republicans in the race: state Sen. John DeFrancisco, of Syracuse, and former Erie County Executive Joel Giambra.

Kolb serves as the leader of the GOP minority in the Assembly. He is a resident of the city of Canandaigua in the Finger Lakes.

Rich Mitchell / Flickr

Republicans are seeking political advantage in the federal corruption trial of Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s former closest aide.

One of the governor’s opponents is pressuring Cuomo to answer some of the revelations in the trial about how state business was conducted, and whether a pay-to-play “atmosphere” was created.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

A Republican candidate for governor is calling for hearings on controversial tourism signs that the Cuomo administration set up on the New York State Thruway and other highways. The federal government said the signs are illegal and will withhold federal funds if they are not removed.

John DeFrancisco, a GOP candidate for governor and the deputy Senate leader, said he wants the state Legislature to hold hearings into the 514 tourism signs posted along numerous highways in the state.

Rich Mitchell / Flickr

The bribery trial of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s former top aide, Joe Percoco, begins its third week in federal court Monday. Cuomo has not commented on the proceedings and has instead been busy focusing on other topics.

In the first two weeks of the trial, questions have been raised about Percoco’s use of his state offices while he was off the government payroll for most of 2014 and managing Cuomo’s reelection campaign.  

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

A third Republican candidate has announced his intention to run for governor against Democrat Andrew Cuomo. Syracuse-area state Sen. John DeFrancisco said he thinks it’s time for a change.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - A senior Republican state senator has filed the paperwork to run for governor of New York.

Senate Deputy Majority Leader John DeFrancisco of Syracuse plans to formally announce his candidacy on Tuesday.

On Monday he filed papers with the state's Board of Elections. DeFrancisco, an attorney, was first elected to the Senate in 1992 and has emerged as a leading critic of Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo's record on taxes, spending and economic development.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The $15 million taxpayer-funded Central New York Film Hub in DeWitt has gotten criticism for not being utilized enough by production companies over the years. But a new virtual CNY film office wants to bring more movie business to the hub and the region.

Elias Gwinn, president of CNY Film Professionals, said the group formed last year as a way for local filmmakers, actors and crew to network with each other.

kolbfornewyork.com

The 2018 election season is beginning, but state Republicans are still trying to settle on a strong candidate to challenge Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has said he wants to seek a third term. 

Republican State Party Chair Ed Cox said the GOP will have a “good,” qualified and viable candidate.

SUNY Polytechnic Institute

NexGen, a Silicon Valley start up, will get an extra $15 million from New York as it replaces SORAA, the company that will inhabit a $90-million facility built by the state in DeWitt.

NexGen deals in semiconductors and power electronics according to Randy Wolken, incoming co-chair of the Central New York Regional Economic Development Council.

Jim Bowen / Flickr

With a projected multibillion-dollar deficit and looming federal changes that could cost the state billions more, the biggest obstacle in the upcoming 2018 legislative session will be balancing the state budget.

The second-highest-ranking Republican in the Senate, John DeFrancisco, said the budget will be “horrible” and the worst in at least seven years.

“I think it’s going to be very, very difficult,” DeFrancisco said. “Probably the most difficult budget year the governor has had since he’s been governor.” 

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

The deputy leader of the state Senate said 2018 will be a difficult year for balancing the state budget.

Sen. John DeFrancisco, R-Syracuse, predicted cutbacks in health care spending to help close a multibillion-dollar deficit.

DeFrancisco said the state’s $4.4 billion projected deficit, combined with potential effects of the federal tax overhaul on New York, will make the next state budget the most difficult one in at least seven years.

“It’s going to be a horrible budget,” DeFrancisco said.

State Sen. John DeFrancisco / Facebook

At an event that’s become increasingly rare in state politics, two politicians from opposing parties sat down together and had a civil discussion about issues facing New York.

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner, a Democrat, and Republican state Sen. John DeFrancisco spoke in Albany during a forum about state issues and politics. 

“To have a vibrant civic dialogue is important,” said Miner. “The fact that it’s been missing, we’ve all suffered for it.”

DeFrancisco, who also is from Syracuse, agreed.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

State Sen. John DeFrancisco (R-Syracuse) is criticizing Gov. Andrew Cuomo for vetoing bills that DeFrancisco said would help residents in the region. DeFrancisco has been pushing one bill in particular for the past three years.

A universal visitability tax credit would give some reimbursement for residents to retrofit their homes to be more accessible for the elderly and disabled, like adding wheelchair accessible entrances. Tania Anderson, the CEO of Arise, which provides disability services, said local residents are waiting 1-4 years for accessible housing.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The Republican candidate running for mayor of Syracuse says if elected, she would hire 50 additional police officers for the city. Laura Lavine blasted the city’s violent crime rate, calling it a bigger sign of Syracuse’s decline.

Standing in front of a bullet-ridden, Skiddy Park police substation, renovated after a deadly riot on Father’s Day last year, Lavine said the station is staffed so sporadically that shooters fire upon it with little fear of getting caught.

WRVO News File Photo

State Sen. John DeFrancisco (R-Syracuse) has been publicly considering a challenge to Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2018. Could an upstate Republican stand a chance against a downstate Democrat in a state with a 2-to-1 Democratic advantage? DeFransisco joins host Grant Reeher this week to consider how it could be done and what it could mean for New York.

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.

David Stone / Flickr

Central New York state legislators have introduced a bill that would give the state Department of Environmental Conservation more flexibility with issuing deer control permits. This comes after DEC officials determined they were steering too far away from the current law. 

David Skeval of Cornell Coorperative Extension of Onondaga County said after an internal review at the DEC, officials realized their process of issuing deer culling permits is cumbersome, and also not following environmental law.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

The future of Interstate 81 through downtown Syracuse hinges on an independent investigation of the options, currently being overseen by the New York State Department of Transportation. In the meantime, champions of different options for the aging highway continue to butt heads.

Senator John A. DeFrancisco Facebook page

Update:

Pages