Since learning he will be challenged in the Democratic Primary for Governor, Andrew Cuomo has been rolling out high-profile endorsements as he seeks a third term.
Last week, even before Nixon formally announced her candidacy, Cuomo announced that British rocker Elton John was supporting him. On Tuesday, it was U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.
But in Albany, some Democrats who should be allies of the incumbent Democratic governor aren’t ready to offer support just yet.
"Right now, I am doing the budget, and the thing is that we've got elections, I've got two empty seats in the state Senate that we are hoping to fill with the best candidates. So the election that I am really focused on after the budget is the one that will fill the seats in the special elections," said state Senate Democratic Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins.
Stewart-Cousins is the only female conference leader in Albany.
It wasn’t just her who held off on endorsing Cuomo.
"We are in the middle of negotiating a budget, and talking about endorsements now is almost silly," said Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie.
"I have not even thought about what I would do in any of the primaries that will be coming up," said Asssemblywoman Deborah Glick of Manhattan.
Supporters of the governor are quick to point out that the system favors incumbency, and the governor will almost certainly have more institutional support than Nixon, including unions. But for now, some of the biggest unions are also taking an official wait-and-see approach.
"Every organization has got to to make its own decisions, but clearly, he has a pretty strong track record, a lot of the work that he has done. But that’s a process," said Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers. "So for us, teachers don’t make that decision until the summer.”
When Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle was asked if he was going to endorse Cynthia Nixon, he said, "I'm sorry, I didn’t hear you." When asked again, he said, "I still can’t hear you, Zack."
Cuomo and legislative leaders are still looking to reach a deal on the budget by next week, but Cuomo wasn’t up in Albany Wednesday. He was downstate holding three separate press briefings about the snowstorm.