Sean Patrick Maloney’s campaign announced this morning that Gov. Andrew Cuomo has endorsed the Democratic congressional hopeful in his bid to unseat NY-18 Rep. Nan Hayworth.

“Sean Patrick Maloney will work to restore the economy of the Hudson Valley and get people back to work,” Cuomo said in a statement released by the Maloney campaign.

“He will be a great advocate for our state in Washington. I urge you to vote for Sean Patrick Maloney for Congress.”

I have to admit to being a tiny bit surprised about this one.

Cuomo did not endorse Maloney in advance of the five-way Democratic primary back in September, even though he threw his support to other candidates, including embattled Rep. Charlie Rangel.

Maloney, a former top aide in the Spitzer and Paterson administrations, played a role in the aftermath of the Troopergate scandal (he was the former governor’s internal counsel), which Cuomo investigated in his former role as state attorney general.

From time to time in the campaign, Hayworth has brought up Troopergate in hopes of tarnishing Maloney’s record.

Maloney tends to gloss over the specifics of his time in Albany, saying (as he does in the press release that announced Cuomo’s support) that he “served in the administrations of two Democratic governors of New York, focusing on education and infrastructure policy.”

Then again, Maloney and Cuomo have something in common that pre-dates Troopergate: They both worked in the Clinton White House – a fact Maloney has reminded voters of over and over in mailers and TV ads and during debates.

Clinton, a Chappaqua resident (which makes him a constituent of Rep. Nita Lowey, like Cuomo), has endorsed Maloney and appeared at a rally for him last weekend.

The event didn’t receive as much coverage as it might have under normal pre-Election Day circumstances, thanks to hurricane Sandy.