Republican Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney quickly came to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s defense when he was asked about mandated spending on local governments on Wednesday while in Solvay in Onondaga County.

“Can I take a stab at that?” she asked.

Mahoney ticked off several areas Cuomo has sought to stem costs such as a hard cap on Medicaid and early intervention.

“We’ve really banged the drum on this governor with mandates and he’s responded,” she said.

Cuomo added that he’s cut spending on the state level as well, saying that it’s a model for local governments.

“Nobody has tighten their belt more than I have,” Cuomo said.  

Mahoney is a prominent Republican ally of Cuomo’s, sitting on his Moreland Commission on Public Corruption and has appeared at fundraisers for him.

Speculation has arose that Mahoney would replace Lt. Gov. Bob Duffy on the ticket later this year, and she hasn’t completely closed the door on the idea.