Monday's Columbus Day Parade served as a launch pad for Governor Andrew Cuomo to kick off his own campaign season where he said he would be backing candidates regardless of party. NY1's Courtney Gross filed the following report.
The governor rolled out more than pageantry at the Columbus Day Parade: He rolled out what could be a crucial endorsement.
"Political courage, which is what Senator Joe Addabbo exhibited, should be encouraged and should not be discouraged," Cuomo said.
Addabbo voted for same-sex marriage last year and is facing a tough re-election challenge from Republican City Councilman Eric Ulrich. A new Siena College poll puts them two points apart and gay marriage advocates are hosting a Chelsea fundraiser for Addabbo next week.
"It's very tight," Addabbo noted.
So the boost from a popular governor might be just what he needs.
"I've known the governor for many years, and I expect to work with him come 2013," Addabbo said.
The governor's nod has been a rare sight this election season, even though every state legislator is up for re-election and members of his own party are clawing to get control back of the State Senate.
But that control may not work to the advantage of some Democrats and one Independent in particular: Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
"I gave a lot of money to Senate Republicans if you remember the chaos when the Democrats were in charge of the Senate. It was a disgrace," Bloomberg said.
The mayor donated $1 million to Senate Republicans last month -- the largest single donation they have ever received, even though they continue to block some crucial parts of his agenda, like gun control.
"Well, you are never going to give your money to somebody who is 100 percent with you, because nobody will ever be 100 percent with you," Bloomberg said.
Cuomo isn't taking either party's side either.
"I am going to make my decisions basically like the way the people of the state make their decisions -- on a case by case basis. On that person, on what they've done," Cuomo said.
The governor kicked off his campaign season at the Columbus Day Parade, but he also said there was more to come.
"The election season is now becoming ripe," said Cuomo. "I have made some statements on other candidates already but I will be making more in the weeks ahead as we get closer."