Governor Cuomo Doesn't Rule Out Endorsements Across Party Lines
Before the debate, Governor Andrew Cuomo told reporters that he would be cheering on President Barack Obama. But he stopped short of answering questions regarding other races across the state. YNN's Nick Reisman has more.
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As Democrats try to gain a foothold in their fight to reclaim control of the state Senate, Governor Andrew Cuomo declines to back a full takeover of the chamber by his own party.
"I want the Senate that the people of the state elect," Cuomo said.
Instead, Cuomo urges voters to back candidates they believe to be the best for the job.
"Vote for a person. I'll endorse Democrats. I'll endorse Republicans because I endorse people who I believe who are in the best interest of the people of the state of New York."
Of course, Cuomo believes the best candidates are the ones who line up with his own policies, including a two-percent cap on property taxes, a signature economic achievement from his first year. It has even led some Republicans to include the governor in their campaign ads.
Cuomo said Tuesday he would endorse candidates who agreed with him regardless of party label.
"You're a Democrat, I understand that and theoretically we are both Democrats, but you oppose everything that I am trying to get done. So what is the point that we happen to share this political label?"
Cuomo has endorsed one Senate Democrat in a close race - Joseph Addabbo of Queens. Initially opposed, Addabbo backed the governor's same-sex marriage law in 2011.
The governor also said he would endorse Senator Roy McDonald, a Republican who backed the marriage law, had he decided to run on the Independence Party line after losing his GOP primary.
"I think you've seen the Governor be very selective and look at each race and each candidate on their own merits," said Stephanie Miner, Democratic Party Co-Chairwoman, on Friday.
Who controls the Senate after Election Day could determine whether there is a special end-of-the-year session. The governor says he would refuse to back a legislative pay raise without lawmakers approving a large package of measures, such as an increase to the minimum wage and a reform of New York City's stop-and-frisk laws.
"I would not even consider – even consider – a legislative pay raise unless the peoples' business was being done in a thorough, responsible way," Cuomo said.
A Cuomo endorsement means a lot to any candidate, especially in some districts, where the Governor's approval rating approaches 80 percent.