Governor Andrew Cuomo is making a strong play for Western New York in his third reelection effort, even as former County Executive Joel Giambra and other Western New Yorkers consider gubernatorial bids. That he recently decided to retain Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul as his running mate is telling. Cuomo intends to seek the presidency in 2020; if he’s successful, it would make Hochul the next Governor of New York.
Having a Governor from Western New York would yield the region more influence in state politics than we’ve ever had. It’s no small prize, and no small consideration to have selected Hochul as his running mate, particularly considering how Cuomo orchestrated a graceful departure for his first Lt. Governor, Robert Duffy.
Hochul debunked rumors that she might consider a rematch against Congressman Chris Collins in the 26th district, indicating that Cuomo has retained her for the statewide ticket. It’s unclear whether that pitch — ‘vote for me and you can have the governorship next’ — will resonate with voters if they have another Western New Yorker to chose from this year.