For the first time, Governor Andrew Cuomo on Monday said he has definitive plans to run for a third term in the 2018 gubernatorial election. Zack Fink filed the following report.
The signs that Governor Andrew Cuomo may seek a third term were already there, like when the Cuomo team quietly changed the name of his campaign committee from Cuomo 2014 to Cuomo 2018.
But at an event in Midtown Monday, Cuomo gave his strongest indication yet.
"There is nothing else that I would rather do than what I am doing. So I plan to stay as long as the people will have me," he said.
Cuomo let his intentions be known while there is chatter within the Democratic Party about who else would run in 2018.
Some of the candidates mentioned include State Comptroller Tom Dinapoli and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who sources say was seriously thinking about a run.
But in a statement issued Monday, Scheiderman said, "I am not thinking about or planning to run for Governor, and I have no interest in challenging an incumbent Democratic governor who shares my views on virtually every issue."
"I think we are in the midst of a phenomenal transformation in the state of New York," Cuomo said. "We're doing all sorts of exciting things. Big things."
But Republicans say not so fast. They think Cuomo needs to shoulder the blame for a slew of corruption scandals.
"We're known as the most corrupt state in the nation. He shut down his own anti-corruption commission. He's under investigation by the U.S. attorney," said Assemblyman Steven McLaughlin of Troy, N.Y. "I just don't know where he makes the case that he deserves a third term, and quite frankly, I didn't think he deserved a second term."
Cuomo is also sitting on nearly $9 million in campaign cash as he continues to raise more.
The governor won New York City last fall by a large margin but lost the rest of the state, which some argue makes him much vulnerable to a challenge from the right than the left.
"I think it looks strong," McLaughlin said. "Right now, you have the potential of Rob Astorino running again. Rob put a very credible race together with very little money. Rob is looking at it. I got to figure that Congressman Gibson is looking."
Third terms for incumbents in New York politics haven't always had the best track record. Governor Andrew Cuomo need look no further than his own father, Governor Mario Cuomo, who by some accounts had a rocky third term. He then lost to George Pataki in 1994 as he was seeking a fourth term.