John Kasich, 2016 Republican presidential candidate, speaks to members of the media next to George Pataki, former governor of New York, during the New York State Republican Gala, April 14, 2016. 
Photo by Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg/Getty

George Pataki endorses John Kasich ahead of New York primary

Updated

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Former New York Republican Gov. George Pataki is endorsing John Kasich for president, sources tell NBC News.

Pataki, the former governor of New York from 1996 to 2006, formerly endorsed Marco Rubio. Pataki was one of Kasich’s rivals for the Republican presidential nomination last year before dropping out of the race in late December.

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The Pataki endorsement comes just five days before the New York primary, which has taken on new importance since the fight for the GOP nomination has lasted into April.

Kasich has been campaigning hard in New York, making a number of trips to locations across New York City and in upstate New York. While he sits far behind both Donald Trump and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in the battle for delegates, he currently stands second place in most New York polls, behind Trump and ahead Cruz. 

This article originally appeared on NBCNews.com.

George Pataki, John Kasich and New York

George Pataki endorses John Kasich ahead of New York primary

Updated