From the Morning Memo:

The blunt and outspoken Republican John DeFrancisco launched his bid for governor on Tuesday, pledging “fundamental change” in New York if elected.

“I’ve found the only way to bring prompt, fundamental change is only from the top in the governor’s office,” he told a crowd of supporters in Syracuse on Tuesday afternoon.

“After careful consideration, we’ve determined that there’s just too much at stake to sit on the sidelines. New Yorkers need a leader that they can trust, and one that will fight for what is right for their families.”

DeFrancisco also promises to be a thorn in the side of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who is seeking a third term this year. DeFrancisco noticeably got under Cuomo’s skin during the debate over increasing the state’s minimum wage to $15.

But that was a fight Cuomo won in Albany and DeFran — as he is known around the halls of the Capitol — eventually voted for a budget that included the wage hike. The lawmaker has defended the vote, blaming Albany’s budget process that empowers a governor, but that has raised questions from conservatives, who will be key in the push for the nomination.

DeFrancisco will be competing against Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb and ex-Erie County Executive Joel Giambra for the GOP nod to take on the governor.

For now, DeFrancisco has said he wants to avoid a primary. And he’s leaving his options open when it comes to returning to the state Senate should he not get it.

“I’ll decide that if and when that situation occurs, because I really believe I’m going to get this nomination,” he said.