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Cuomo Talks Mayor's Race, State Issues

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After staying on the sidelines for most of the mayor's race, Governor Andrew Cuomo weighed in Wednesday, as well as addressing other key issues in his first talk with reporters in Albany in four months. NY1's Zack Fink filed the following report.

One of Democratic mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio's signature policy proposals is to tax wealthier New Yorkers to fund universal pre-kindergarten.

It's an idea that would need to go through Albany, and many have speculated on how willing Governor Andrew Cuomo would be to go along with it, particularly when he's up for re-election in 2014.

The issue came up again in Tuesday night's debate.

"He was crystal clear. This is dead on arrival," Lhota said at the debate. "The reality is, Bill de Blasio makes promises over and over that he can't keep."

"I never said that," Cuomo said Wednesday. "You know my position on taxes generally, and you know what I've said over the last three years."

You'd have to go back to July for the last time Cuomo held a press conference with members of the state house press corps.

There were a number of topics covered, including his Moreland Commission to investigate public corruption. The legislature has hired outside lawyers to fight the commission's subpoenas targeting outside income of legislators.

"I think they're making a mistake," Cuomo said. "I think they're compounding the public sense that they've got something to hide."

The commission is looking at ways to clean up money in politics. The governor confirmed that if the legislature fails to act on campaign finance reform, he would consider pushing a constitutional amendment.

"That would be an option to consider, sure," Cuomo said. "They'd have to pass that, though, too, right?"

Next month, voters are being asked to approve a different amendment, which would raise the retirement age of certain judges from 70 to 80.

Last month, the governor told us he was against it.

"I don't support a referendum that would raise the limit," he said at the time.

On Wednesday, he changed his tune slightly.

"It's not my referendum. I wasn't involved in it," he said. "I understand the issue. I think there are serious questions raised by it, but I haven't taken a position."

There has also been speculation that Cuomo would replace Lieutenant Governor Bob Duffy with a new running mate for the 2014 campaign. Cuomo would only say that he is waiting until next year to have that conversation with Duffy.

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