If given a third-term by voters on Tuesday — which is by no means certain – the embattled incumbent Andrew Cuomo is planning a ‘renaming binge’ of public infrastructure assets. For months, a small circle of Cuomo advisors has been contemplating ways to enshrine his family’s political legacy into the lexicon of New York life.
Cuomo does not intend to seek a fourth term, the source claims, whether he seeks the Democratic Party presidential nomination in 2020 or 2024. Such a move would allow Cuomo to unabashedly rename public infrastructure after his late father, the former Governor Mario Cuomo, and the State’s former First Lady Matilda Cuomo, without fear of voter backlash at the ballot box.
The informal working group has a list of twelve assets across the State that they will seek to rename, the source tells The Chronicle. The New York Stewart International Airport, a small but growing passenger airport in the Lower Hudson Valley, tops that list.
The Airport provides passenger service to Florida and is run by the British firm National Express, which secured a 99-year operating lease under the administration of George Pataki. It’s unclear if the lease terms will complicate the renaming, or whether National Express might embrace the rebranding.
Second on the renaming wishlist is the Jamaica Long Island Railroad Station, located in the neighborhood where Mario Cuomo came of age. Under that plan, the station would be rebuilt into a major intermodal transit station intended to serve as “the region’s transit gateway to JFK Airport.”
The source provided The Chronicle with the remainder of the list below. (We’re told that Tug Hill and Sacandaga Lake would be named after the former First Lady, while all other items on the list would be named after the former Governor).
3. Albany – Rensselaer Amtrak Station
4. Washington Park in Albany
5. South Beach on Staten Island
6. Queens Boulevard
7. Fire Island Seashore
8. Bear Mountain State Park
9. City Island
10. North Grand Island Bridges
11. Tug Hill State Forest
12. Sacandaga Lake