Cuomo To Endorse Buffalo Mayor Brown
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is staying far, far away from the NYC mayor’s race, but when it comes to the battle for City Hall in Buffalo, he’s apparently more than willing to play favorites.
Our colleagues at YNN Buffalo confirm that the governor plans to endorse Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown today after he makes an announcement at Templeton Landing at 11 a.m.
Neither Cuomo’s government press office nor his political arm (the state Democratic Party or his own campaign) have announced this event.
But Brown’s campaign, eager to tout the news, sent out a press release confirming the happy occasion will take place at the Barton Room on the 8th Floor of the Larkin Building at 12:25 p.m.
Brown enjoys a very large lead over his Democratic primary opponent, Bernie Tolbert, and doesn’t seem in any danger of losing his job next week.
History has shown that Cuomo likes to play it safe when it comes to local endorsements, swooping in late in the game and generally – though not always (see: Saland, Steve) – siding with the candidate who is shaping up to be the clear winner.
Cuomo and Brown have a long history. The mayor was believed to be on the short list for potential lieutenant governor running mates back in 2010, but was passed over by Cuomo in favor of then-Rochester Mayor Bob Duffy.
The selection of Duffy angered some of the state’s black leaders, who would have much preferred to see Cuomo select someone of color, especially given the lack of any minority candidates on the statewide Democratic ticket.
But thanks to Eliot Spitzer’s prostitution scandal, which elevated the untested former senator David Paterson to the post of governor with not fantastic results, the position of LG had been elevated in importance. And Brown had some persistent problems in his administration – not to mention talk of corruption – that made Cuomo wary.
Cuomo’s decision to weigh in on this local race will no doubt lead to questions about who else he might be supporting prior to the Sept. 10 primary.
And it also shoots holes in his argument – made just yesterday – that it would be inappropriate for him to back anyone in the hotly contested Democratic mayoral primary in New York City because he’s registered to vote in Westchester.
The reality is that trying to pick a horse in the NYC race is tough, despite recent polls that suggest NYC Public Advocate Bill de Blasio has a shot at garnering enough support to avoid a runoff.
If Cuomo chooses wrong in that contest, it would make his relationship with the city’s next mayor – already likely to be contentious, if history is any guide – that much more difficult.
Brown will be the first local candidate Cuomo has endorsed this year, and that makes sense, since he has been very interested in Western New York from both a politics and policy perspective since the region was carried by his GOP opponent, Carl Paladino, in 2010.
Yesterday, Duffy backed his successor in the Rochester mayor’s office, Tom Richards, who is facing a Democratic primary challenge from Council President Lovely Warren.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Liz Benjamin on September 5, 2013 at 9:14 am, and is filed under Andrew Cuomo, Bob Duffy, Democrats, Uncategorized, Upstate NY. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|