Updated 02/27/2010 10:39 AM
Field Clears For Cuomo's Possible Run For Governor
One person who stands to benefit from the downfall of Governor David Paterson is State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, who many say now has a clear path to the governor’s mansion. NY1's Bobby Cuza filed the following report.
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NY1.com presents Governor David Paterson's complete announcement from Friday that he has ended his campaign for a full term as governor.
State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo hasn’t even declared himself a candidate for governor, yet in many political circles it is a foregone conclusion that he will be New York’s next governor.
"He is definitely in my mind our next governor. He will be the nominee of our Party," said State Democratic Party Chairman Jay Jacobs on NY1's "Inside City Hall" on Friday. "I cannot see that not happening."
New York City Correction Officers' Benevolent Association President Norman Seabrook is among a handful of labor leaders who have also thrown their support behind Cuomo.
“I believe that Andrew Cuomo will run for governor of the state of New York, and he will win by a landslide,” said Seabrook.
It appears the attorney general, the son of former New York Governor Mario Cuomo, will also have the backing of the current governor.
"I offered my assistance to Attorney General Cuomo, should he become a candidate. That’s kind of in the future,” said Paterson after he suspended his bid to win a full term in office, following reports that he and the state police contacted a woman who claimed she was the victim of domestic violence at the hands of one of the governor's top aides, David Johnson.
Paterson has tapped Cuomo to investigate his office and staff, and at his news conference yesterday the governor maintained he never abused his power.
While Cuomo has been raising millions for a potential run, publicly he has played coy.
In a statement Friday, Cuomo said, “This is an election year and I will announce my plans at the appropriate time.”
His statement also reiterated a mantra he has said for weeks -- that he is focused on his current job.
“I’m elected to be attorney general. I get paid by New Yorkers to be the attorney general, and that’s what I’m doing,” said Cuomo on Wednesday.
While some say the governorship is being handed to Cuomo on a silver platter, other political observers see a drawback. With Paterson out of the race, Cuomo may be subject to added scrutiny.
“People will be looking for things to cover, things to write, and they’ll be writing about guess who? Andrew Cuomo,” said Democratic consultant Hank Sheinkopf.
Cuomo does not have an entirely clear field. One Republican candidate, former Congressman Rick Lazio, said on Friday that the attorney general needs to start campaigning.
“Andrew Cuomo needs to come out of the shadows, come out of the foxhole, stop avoiding the real issues and now act like a real candidate,” said Lazio.
However, given Cuomo's broad popularity in a state that’s heavily Democratic, the attorney general has to like his odds against Lazio. A Siena College poll out earlier this week had Cuomo winning that hypothetical matchup by 37 percentage points.