It was an announcement that New Yorkers saw coming for months, but hype finally materialized as Attorney General Andrew Cuomo officially announced he is running for New York State Governor.
Cuomo, a Democrat and the popular son of former governor Mario Cuomo, who has roots here in Queens, formally launched his gubernatorial campaign on Saturday, May 22.
“My campaign is this simple: I represent the people of the great state of New York, and we want our government back,” Cuomo said. “If we are smart, we grasp the opportunity presented by this crisis – we seize the day, carpe diem – and finally develop the political will to reform Albany. We must use this moment to reorganize government, reform its ethics and restructure its finances, to solve the problem we have ignored for too long.”
For months, Cuomo, who has served as Attorney General since 2008, deflected questions about his candidacy for November saying he was focusing on his job as Attorney General. But, during his announcement, he spoke about his New NY Agenda that includes capping state spending and freezing state taxes, tough new ethics that will require lawmakers to disclose their outside incomes and implementing stricter campaign finance laws.
In addition, Cuomo said he would spearhead “a Constitutional Convention – a People’s Convention – to rewrite the rules, because we are just plain tired of waiting for the New York State Legislature to act.”
Cuomo, who is the presumptive favorite to be the Democratic nominee in November, will also be the heavy favorite over the Republican candidate – whether it be former Congressmember Rick Lazio, Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy, Buffalo businessman Carl Paladino or another candidate in the November election.
While many local Democrats knew that Cuomo would run, they were still excited to see him officially announce his candidacy.
“I think he’s been a strong Attorney General, and this will certainly carry over into the governor’s office if he’s elected,” State Senator Toby Stavisky said.
Stavisky believes that it is important to have a strong administrator in the governor’s office, and she believes Cuomo will be that person. She also thinks having him at the top of the party’s ticket come November will help local legislators with their races.
“I think in Queens it helps Tony Avella immeasurably,” said Stavisky, referring to the District 13 race where former Councilmember Tony Avella is trying to unseat longtime Republican State Senator Frank Padavan.