New York Republicans face uphill battle without ‘boogeyman’ Cuomo

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source: https://www.politico.com

It changed into their pleasant threat in a decade to claw lower back manipulate of Albany: An incumbent governor crippled by using scandal, below state and federal investigation and haunted by the same “Cuomo fatigue” his father confronted 1 / 4 century earlier.

Instead, New York Republicans would possibly face a history-making female with a slight file, upstate delivery certificate and thick Rolodex built up over six years running politicians, business owners and local leaders all around the state. Even the party says its new opponent is bold.

The implosion of Andrew Cuomo — the three-time period governor who went from countrywide stardom to unemployed and in all likelihood homeless in much less than a year — in addition damaged an already-fractured Democratic Party in New York. It might be equally jarring for the country’s Republicans, who had an not going however practicable route to victory with Cuomo facing a bruising primary in 2022.

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, set to grow to be governor on Aug. 24, introduced on Thursday she intends to run for reelection subsequent yr. Many assume she can win. And even the GOP country party chair, Nick Langworthy, thinks Hochul must be taken critically. He says she has a knack for at the ground campaigning that others — Cuomo included — lack.

“She shouldn’t be underestimated in terms of her talents as a baby-kisser,” Langworthy said in an interview Thursday. “She’s one of the fine retail politicians I’ve ever visible. She will pass places that other elected leaders will now not.”

Hochul confirms plans to run for governor in 2022

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Republicans have already got a presumed nominee in Rep. Lee Zeldin, the 4-term member of Congress from Long Island. Andrew Giuliani, the son of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, is also jogging an insurgent campaign, alongside a handful of others who are hoping for a aggressive number one no matter the celebration's open choice for Zeldin.

The state GOP, which hasn’t received a statewide election in almost decades, is a shadow of what it as soon as turned into in New York. About 6.7 million registered Democrats hold a heavy gain over about 2.9 million Republicans. And more New Yorkers — about three million — have now chosen to register with out a affiliated party.

“The events of the past few days have truely modified the dynamic,” Siena College pollster Steve Greenberg stated. “Andrew Cuomo, for the Republicans, became the boogeyman. You don’t ought to move back years, just move lower back within the last 30-60 days. How lots of their statements had been about some thing apart from Andrew Cuomo?“

But Langworthy — who, like Hochul, is from the Buffalo location — sees a direction. Hochul, he notes, has been evolving due to the fact that her stint in Congress more than a decade in the past and, prior to that, as a local authentic in Western New York. He pointed to the reality that she changed into advocated by way of the NRA at some point of her congressional campaign but now backs New York’s strict gun control legal guidelines. Her guidelines are difficult to nail down, he says, due to the fact she will be able to “ebb and glide and twist and turn to be a chameleon, something her surroundings are.“

Andrew Cuomo resigns amid sexual harassment scandal

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Hochul on Wednesday said she become “not aware of any of the allegations whatsoever” in Attorney General Tish James’s record detailing 11 accusations of sexual harassment against Cuomo. She also said all people who was implicated in that record will not be part of her new administration.

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Langworthy and other Republicans say they plan to use the lieutenant governor’s political fluidity to suggest, with no evidence, that she changed into privy to the allegations — or at the least the lifestyle that saved them mystery — earlier than they became public.

“Typically, when I’m domestic in Buffalo, I listen how effective she is. But then, the day prior to this, it’s, ‘I had not anything to do with this,'” Langworthy stated. “'I become out reducing ribbons and going to pizza parties.’ Which is it? Are you organized to steer the kingdom? Were you making governmental decisions, or were you only a mascot for the administration?”

That’s the messaging that Republican consultant William F. B. O'Reilly said he expects from contenders trying to repurpose their Cuomo assaults and use them on Hochul.

"Andrew Cuomo's departure takes plenty of troubles off the desk, however it may nonetheless be argued that a change in route is wanted,” O’Reilly, who has advised some of statewide candidates, said. “To pull that off, Gov. Hochul will must be painted as an extension of Cuomo's 11-year reign, now not a person new and sparkling. That's an attempt likely to begin quicker in place of later.”

That had began even earlier than James released her report. Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino in March raised the question of Hochul’s expertise of the allegations or the administration’s toxic subculture and the country’s Covid-19 response, which remains underneath investigation. Astorino, who lost to Cuomo in 2014 however has endured his campaign regardless of the birthday party’s aid for Zeldin, stated there is little distinction in campaigning towards Hochul or Cuomo as it’s a unique gadget, he stated.

“The stain of Albany is on all of them and the stain of Cuomo is on they all,” he said. Cuomo’s reputation “isn't some thing that may be a shocker to all of us in New York State."

Zeldin says he remains confident that his own call popularity rivals that of Hochul, who become noticeably unknown amongst the majority until Cuomo’s resignation declaration on Tuesday.

The prospect of dealing with an opponent — Hochul or not — who does not have an $18 million warchest like Cuomo comes as a bit of a alleviation. As a long way as GOP gubernatorial candidates pass, Zeldin’s been the most achieved fundraiser in years, but with a little more than $three million on hand, he could have struggled to compete.

“There in all likelihood might be a aggressive Democratic number one and we’re going to hold as a way to broaden a massive fundraising benefit over our opponent rather than what has so far been us having to play capture up,” he said.

Hochul’s aides declined to remark for this tale.

The more youthful Giuliani, famous for delivering the mayoral oath of workplace along with his father when he become 7, has been doing a truthful bit of old fashioned retail campaigning himself. He said it’s still too early to be involved about having to stand Hochul or having to proportion ability electorate with extra a centrist Democrat.

“It’s an unknown,” he stated. “It might be Hochul who’s the nominee, it might be James. I’ve even heard Bill de Blasio is considering it.“