Prominent Republican consultant E. O’Brien Murray in email to New York Republican officials on Tuesday urged them to not rush in making an endorsement of Sen. John DeFrancisco in the race for governor.

In the email, which Murray forwarded to Capital Tonight, he points to DeFrancisco receiving both his pension and his salary as a state lawmaker — a legally allowed practice known as “double dipping” which good-government groups and newspaper editorial boards have decried over the years in state government.

“Speaking with some of you I realized none of you knew John DeFrancisco was being paid 2x for his senate salary, through a loophole that voters will not appreciate,” Murray wrote in the email. “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 we see this too.”

In the email, Murray insisted incumbent Democrat Andrew Cuomo “can be beat” but DeFrancisco may not be the Republican to do it.

“We know the Cuomo numbers are down, his aide’s trial is still ongoing and there are more trials to come,” Murray wrote.

Murray is not attached to a rival campaign, but he has been at odds with DeFrancisco’s consultant, Michael Lawler, who worked for Westchester County Executive Rob Astornio’s campaign for governor in 2014. Murray insisted the email is “nothing about a feud” but about questioning what appears to be a coalescing around DeFrancisco after the departure of Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb from the race and that there is still time to find an alternative.

DeFrancisco over the last several days has touted endorsements from multiple Republican county chairs and Senate lawmakers, including Majority Leader John Flanagan today. The other remaining GOP candidate in the race is former Erie County Executive Joel Giambra.

But the email highlights the reticence of some Republicans to embrace DeFrancisco, who they worry is too apart of the Albany firmament to launch an effective campaign against the governor. Cuomo, a Democrat, is seeking a third term.

Allies of DeFrancisco, however, blasted the effort by Murray to slow the down the momentum.

“It makes me wonder that if a disgruntled consultant today had a liquid lunch and decided to pound this email out,” Onondaga County Republican Chairman Tom Dadey said in a phone interview. “That’s what it looks like to me. John DeFrancisco has momentum. He’s gotten endorsements today, he’s going to get endorsements tomorrow and he’s going to keep getting endorsements. The momentum is with the front runner and that’s John DeFrancisco.”

Murray also exchanged emails with Dadey in which they argued over the viability of DeFrancisco’s candidacy.

In one email, Murray argued that previous nominees for governor hadn’t been apparent until much later in the year. Carl Paladino had not entered the race in 2010 until the early spring and “in 1994 they still didn’t know who George Pataki was. There is no reason for County Chairs to rush into endorsing someone when others are still considering to run.”

“With Brian Kolb dropping out there seems to be a rush to really around someone, I just feel this is the wrong candidate to rally around at this time,” Murray wrote.

He insisted the goal of the email was to open a discussion and find a path to victory and “not just check the box.”

Dadey responded: “Well OB…fortunately for us 62 County Chairs the selection of our 2018 GOP Gubernatorial is not solely vested with you and your agenda. Have a great rest of the day!”