ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A Republican county executive from New York’s Hudson Valley is running for governor.

Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro launched his campaign late Monday morning at the village hall in his hometown of Tivoli.

“I began in public service, because I care deeply in the concept that we ought to give back,” he says in his campaign video.

The 42-year-old father of three was elected county executive in November 2011. At 18, Molinaro was elected to the Village of Tivoli board of trustees in Dutchess County. A year later, he became its mayor – the youngest mayor in the United States. He was reelected to that post five times, then served in the County Legislature and State Assembly.

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Molinaro had initially said he wouldn’t seek the GOP nomination for governor, but changed his mind last month after state Sen. John DeFrancisco, of Syracuse, announced he would seek the party’s nomination to challenge two-term Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

“Our state government is often paralyzed by corruption and inaccessible to the people it’s supposed to serve. I’m asking for the support in the vote of New Yorkers, because I think that we can transform the way in which state government functions,” he said Monday.

His campaign video says he wants to get people to “believe again.”

“The politics of today seems to be focused on tearing others down instead of lifting up the people who serve you,” he said.

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Recent polls have both Molinaro and DeFrancisco trailing Cuomo. A Siena College poll has Cuomo leading Molinaro 57-29 and DeFrancisco 57-28.

But it’s early, and Cuomo could be weakened by a vigorous primary challenge from “Sex and the City” star Cynthia Nixon, CBS2’s Political Reporter Marcia Kramer reported. Pundits say if Nixon gets into the general election on the working families party line, it could drain votes from Cuomo and boost Republican chances of victory in New York.

The governor dismissed Molinaro as a “Trump mini-me,” attacking his position on a host of issues from same-sex marriage to a woman’s right to choose. A spokesperson for the state Democratic party called Molinaro “Trump with a different hair color.”

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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