Gov. Kathy Hochul arrived in San Juan late Thursday. She appeared publicly at just one event, a cocktail party for the abortion rights organization Eleanor’s Legacy.
While Hochul addressed the crowd briefly, she also left out the back without taking questions from reporters.
Attorney General Letitia James also spoke at the event. Earlier in the day, she was asked about her strategy to win support here in her bid for governor.
“I want to keep the focus on what is happening here in Puerto Rico and not about the politics at all,” she said. “If you focus on advocating for social justice and equality consistent with our law, then everything else will work out. I’m confident of that.”
James was also asked about former Gov. Andrew Cuomo accusing her of coordinating her announced run for governor around the same time the Albany County Sheriff announced Cuomo would be charged with a crime.
“So it was purely coincidental. And as far as the former governor is concerned, it’s more of the same. It’s more of the same to undermine our report, our investigation, which was corroborated and substantiated,” James said. “And it’s unfortunate that the former governor the state of New York for his own actions and his own conduct.”
In the meantime, as the SOMOS conference entered its second day, Democrats were buzzing over a new controversy stemming from Tuesday’s election.
State Senate Democrats say they asked embattled state Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs last month to help support two ballot proposals to increase access to voting. Both were defeated.
In a text message, Jacobs says the party was never asked for financial assistance. He said, “Absolutely not. They NEVER asked us to spend money and NEVER indicated that they thought these ballot initiatives were in trouble.”
“It’s strange that he would say we didn’t ask, when we definitely asked,” countered state Senate Deputy Majority Leader Michael Gianaris. “We asked for help. I don’t want to speak for him. I don’t know why he is saying what he is saying. All I know is we needed the help, we asked for it.”
An email provided by Gianaris appears to back up his claim that they did in fact ask Jacobs for help last month.
Hochul has been under pressure to replace Jacobs as chairman. Critics say he is at least partially responsible for big losses outside New York City Tuesday.
Hochul declined to comment on his future.
Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Eleanor's Legacy had endorsed Gov. Kathy Hochul.