Sources tell The Chronicle that longtime Western New York political operative and Bolton St. Johns lobbyist Camille Brandon is likely to lead Kathy Hochul‘s gubernatorial campaign in the increasingly likely event that Governor Andrew Cuomo is removed from office.
Observers say that Hochul’s selection of Brandon is revealing of Hochul’s strategy in a primary contest that could include big names in New York politics, including Mayor Bill de Blasio, Attorney General Tish James, and Comptroller Tom DiNapoli.
Brandon’s selection as campaign manager suggests that Hochul will be prioritizing women voters, older voters, and Upstate voters in the 2022 gubernatorial primary.
“Selecting Camille tells me that Hochul wants a grown-up in charge, someone whose natural instinct is to project a mature tone and to take the long view,” one operative explains.
“Camille would bring calm and deliberation to the campaign — which would stand in stark contrast to Cuomo’s campaigns,” he adds.
While Hochul’s gubernatorial transition committee and reelection campaign have not been formally launched or structured, sources say that her husband, William C. Hochul, is leading informal but wide-ranging private conversations to do so.
Many expect that Jeremy Zellner, the Erie County Democrat Chairman, will replace Jay Jacobs, the current State Chairman; while Georgio DeRosa, Byron Brown, and Nita Lowey are expected to serve as Co-Chairs of her campaign.
“You can trust that Camille is not going to tolerate the rampant sexual harassment that was apparently widespread in Cuomo’s entourage,” the operative postulates.